“I believe art is utterly important. It is one of the things that could save us.” ~ Mary Oliver
••• The Mad Gallery •••
“The Dreamer’s Inconsolable Solitude” (above) by featured artist Bill Wolak.
If you’ve been following Mad Swirl for a while now, we’re sure you’ll recognize the twistedly bizarre & beautifully beat works of Bill Wolak. If you missed his feature round the last time around you’re in luck because Bill’s back with more and we here at Mad Swirl can only hope he keeps this creative collection going for a mighty long time. Wolak is a multi-talented mad man hailing from New Jersey and his collage work is mostly symmetrical, sometimes phallic and always captivating. If we haven’t sparked your interest yet, maybe you’re in the wrong place. But we doubt that. So WHEN you’re Ready-Set then GO!… we know you won’t regret it! ~ Madelyn Olson
••• The Poetry Forum •••
This last week in Mad Swirl’s Poetry Forum… we shot us one son of a gun; we slipped a slow cycle, one time only; we saw the horizon in a cowboy’s eyes; we felt like a jerk for living to work; we were schooled in the way of Octavio’s day, women to win by quatrains; we were warned of the harm in pigs on a farm; we suffered their fussin’ by paying for cussin’; we harbored our hope for what hasn’t happened (yet). Dream big – wake up ready. ~ MH Clay
It Hasn’t Happened Yet by Johnny Olson
I wake up optimistic with high hopes in my heart that today will be the day that happiness, peace and love will flow our way. I day dream that by the time my head hits pillow this night and sleep slips slyly across my soul, that a smile will slide upon my lips and I will remember why I thought it was worth waking up today. It hasn’t happened yet.
I pray. I plead with God to wash upon us a wave of peace and love and understanding. I beg that He bless us one and all… all people of all colors and creeds in all places and nations, the young and old, the sick and the healthy, the poor and the wealthy, the sad and the happy, the sleeping and the awake, the warring and the peaceful, the quick and the dead. I feel my spiel is sincerely real and that if all this making good intentions and giving heartfelt prayers and creating my manifestations, if all this stuff really works, it’ll come true. But, it hasn’t happened yet.
I sit in predawn parking lot at work and write out my untarnished thoughts of the day to come. I intend to write a poem that speaks of the peaceful and easy feelings that I seek in this world of ours. I strive to find the right words and meanings that will teach and learn me the propitiousness of love. Oh, how we homo-sapiens love us some good love! But that divine inspiration that used to sit so closely to me just isn’t hanging around these days. No matter how hard I beg, she alludes me. I open my notebook to let her write her song but she doesn’t. She drops the pen and says she’ll come back again. But it hasn’t happened yet.
Too many days I wake up to hear the headline news that makes me shake my head in disbelief that we humans can be so inhumane to one another. Another white cop shoots another black man for reasons I’ll never understand. The loudmouth bullshit-inaire and the fortunate daughter cHillary throwing barbed sound bites at each other, leaving me isolated in the growing middle. Another catastrophic storm/fire/quake bubbling from something we may or may have not done. Extinguishing creatures whose fate should have never been left in our fucked up hands. My faith in my fellow man is dwindling down the more my optimistic smile turns to pessimistic frown. I pray someone, anyone (not it!) save us from ourselves! I hear my inner scream and say “OK, OK I’ll do my part” hoping a whole lot more like me are trying too and that our collective push will move this fucking needle back to good. But no matter how hard I try and as much as I wish it would, it hasn’t happened yet.
Usually, right about now when I get into these funky punky poetic moods I’ll turn it around at the end with an AHA moment so that all this “woe is me and we and he and she” that I just spewed upon your senses, is all OK. A nicely wrapped insight with a bow of hope to top this poetic puke. I’m even trying to find one now, as I tip tap these final words onto this page knowing damn straight that I got to get this write right. But, alas, this poem has ended, and it hasn’t happened yet.
editors note: Keep writing, hoping, loving, helping. Just cuz it hasn’t, doesn’t mean it won’t. Yes! (Read another of our Chief Editor’s mad missives on his page; a departure from the norm – check it out.)- mh clay
SWEAR JAR by Lindsay McLeod
Yes I know
the kiss of the thistle.
So I’ll drop another
small change sorry
into your bottomless
yes yes I know
so I’ll shut the Hell up
and go back to being
a lower case i,
a blind overflow
with disabled parking.
editors note: Once they’re out, they can’t come back. Two dollars, please. – mh clay
The Three Little Pigs by Chrissie Morris Brady
After the wolf had been roasted on the fire,
the three little pigs lived happily in the house made of bricks.
They grew, plump and no more little,
so they packed some food and looked for another home.
They walked up hill and down dell
until they found the perfect farm.
The rest of their story is told by Orwell.
editors note: Conflict to contentment, complacency to conquest. Watch how your story unfolds. – mh clay
If good looking men by Desmene M. Statum
If good looking men
Are going to insist
On quoting Octavio Paz
I am not responsible
For what happens
If you want a woman to think
All damn day
Send her Octavio Paz Quatrains
She might not have even given you
A red letter thought
Up until then
Then she’ll read your poems
And think dangerous thoughts
Feel felonious feelings
All damn day.
Even if she’s vowed
To never love another artist
editors note: Gentlemen? Are you paying attention? – mh clay
Work by Hector Ortiz
Wear and fatigue have claimed me
Losing track of the time
Modern day slavery
Just to make ends meet
80hours a week just to make sure we eat
All work no sleep
Gettin up in the morning
Dragging my feet
Do I really wanna live like this
Wanna scream at the supervisor fuck you
Wanna tell Uncle Sam fuck you
Tired of this routine
I just want something new
Stuck in a corner don’t know what to do
Instead of loving another sky blue
I just think ok just get through
Clock in clock out
Stuck in a cage
Lost in a rage
8hours a day
12hrs a slave
They say hey it’s ok
You have a job at least you get paid
Working to live
Living to work
Is my hourly wage really my worth
All the miraculous events that led to my birth
Have brought me to this place I call work
In these walls someone calls the shots
In these halls they grow a pair of balls
They’re the shit I leave in these bathroom stalls
editors note: The hero’s anthem. Sing it while you work. – mh clay
Body Language by Sharon Frye
there it is again
the tilting back of the head
the three-syllable laugh
like the father’s
a renaissance cowboy
without a ranch
see the lost horizon
in his eyes
the lonestar in the wood
sailing stones across the sand
editors note: A wild wester in a civilized land – mh clay
Irreversible Cycle by Peycho Kanev
In the framed picture
on the mantelpiece
sits a snapped moment
of an old woman
getting younger in
Light shifts from
east to west slowly
as a glacier.
Close your eyes with me,
it will not happen again.
editors note: Mortal amusement. – mh clay
The Devil and Jim by Jesse Doughty
fire in the trees on the side of the road
broken glass and a dead man’s home
as children play and grown men run
a bottle of gin and a son of a gun
a murder of crows flee from his bones
a drink and a dance and the devil’s last chance
an old guitar plays a dusty song
well the devil is waitin but it won’t be long
the clouds are full and the moon is gone
thunder and wind and the battle for sin
the dust is cryin as the rain rolls in
an empty bottle and six gun Jim
shadows of women and a fiery light
swan song killer and a pillar of stone
a ghastly sneer and a ghoulish grin
in O’Leary’s bar stood the devil and Jim
a thousand years had come and gone
his garden of lies truth despised
but before the dawn he would retire
the devil spoke a word and the word was Fire
Jim was murder and murderous Jim
was tall and clean quick and mean
he wore leather shins and a colt .45
twas the last the devil saw out his good right eye
the bullet danced out the back of his head
it left a wilderness of blood and mess
and there stood Jim crowned King of Hell
well the devil had his day but on that night he fell
so fallen angel on a cold wooden floor
colt .45 back at Jim’s side
and with morning’s glory yet to come
a bottle of gin and a son of a gun
editors note: It’s a cowboy movie ’bout a son of a gun… – mh clay
••• Short Stories •••
If you Need-a-Read then need no more! Mad Swirl’s featured short, “Earth Angel“ comes from Russ Dymond & it just might the groove you need to feed ya’.
Here’s what Short Story Editor Tyler Malone has to say about this pick-of-the-week tale:
Will you be mine? If the answer is yes and we catch someone falling from the skies, it’s nothing but love to keep dancing until death.
Here’s a few notes of “Earth Angel” to get this groove goin’:
(photo, “Angels Bid Thee to Thy Rest” by Tyler Malone aka The Second Shooter)
Soon after it happened, police cars swarmed in, followed by a fire truck and an ambulance. She watched them all evening from her second floor window that looked out over the parking lot, red and blue and green lights swirling through the darkness like kaleidoscopic searchlights. Around midnight, upset and nervous, she went to bed, wondering if she should check out and disappear, wondering when the knock at the door would come, if she didn’t; wondering why emergency vehicles never seemed to turn off their motors.
The next morning, first thing, she turned on the TV. The man was 76. His name was Edward Norwiski. He was a retired engineer, single, lived alone. His billfold was missing so the suspected motive was robbery.
A couple of police cars still remained in the parking lot. She thought about going downstairs for the free breakfast, but then decided against it. Instead, she brewed a pot of coffee in the room and sat down in the chair by the window, wondering how long it would take them to find her. The motel, after all, had cameras on every floor. They would know.
So what would she say? How could she make it credible? The more she thought about it, the more she realized that it didn’t matter. They would never believe her anyway. If it hadn’t happened to her, she wouldn’t believe it herself…
Get the rest of your read on right here!
••• Open Mic •••
(photo courtesy of Dan “the man” Rodriguez. See Dan’s whole collection from this past month here)
All we here at Mad Swirl have gots’ta say about this past 1st Wednesday is Awww! OK, we have a LOT more words to share, what with ALL the poets & musicians and pics & links & tags & whatnot’s we gots…
A HUGE shout-out to our NEW mad mic home, downtown Dallas’ badass’d City Tavern!
A HUGER shout-out to our feature, loco local poet, Desmene Statum, who delivered us a one-two poetic punch with a heaping’ helping of some UHhhhh! We never doubted that Dez would rock our worlds and did she ever!
(if you couldn’t make it to the show and wish you coulda, here’s some live video of Desmene’s feature set)
Here’s a shout out to all who graced us with their words, their songs, their divine madnesses…
Johnny Olson & MH Clay
Gerard Bendiks, Chris & Tamitha Curiel
HUGE thanks to Swirve for taking us to another dimension of time and space on the wings of their jazzy madness!
Thanks to all who came out to the City Tavern & shared this beat-utifullest night of poetry and music with us!
and last but NOT least…
HUGEST thanks to The City Tavern’s proprietor Joshua Florence for blessing us with our new digs and welcoming us mad ones with open arms and giving us a swirl’n space we can call home.
May the madness swirl your way ’til next 1st Wednesday…
Your Mad Googily-Eyed Guy
P.S. Interested in performing? If you are a mad poet, musician, actor, singer and/or performer (circus freaks and Elvis impersonators always welcome) & live in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, come to The City Tavern & strut–yo–stuff.
P.P.S. Got questions? E-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org for further details that may not be listed here.
P.P.P.S. The City Tavern is located at 1402 Main Street • Dallas, TX
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…
Short Story Editor