The Best of Mad Swirl : 03.19.17

by on March 19, 2017 :: 0 comments

“All art is a confession.” ~ Gaston Lachaise

••• The Mad Gallery •••

“The Uncontrollable Laughter of Moonlight Dancing Through the Graveyard” (above) by featured artist Bill Wolak. To see more of Bill’s mad illustrations, as well as our other featured artists, visit our Mad Gallery!

••• The Poetry Forum •••

This last week in Mad Swirl’s Poetry Forumwe suffered consternation over proper enunciation; we hefted a heart, empty of hatred; we silenced the chatter of mind over matter; we yellowed the strain of fish down the drain; we enjoyed the elation of self-adoration; we played with the picture of a pliable ingenue; we devolved from decimation to cultural commercialization. These broken pieces, our reconstruction; how we make sense. The stir of the Swirl. ~ MH Clay

Smiling Upon Them by Joseph D. DiLella

weeps inside the stone
family crypts, bones of old
nuzzled close to tombstone of a new one
no more than five, hit by a taxi, just one of thousands
transporting the near dead back and forth
to markets, to churches, to landmarks meant for saviors
who still bleed for sinners and saints
on the smallest of atolls, where rainwater embraces roads
like watery pillows on beds of sand.
Barefoot children still dance
prance like wild animals
chasing each other, or dogs and cats
in cemetaries adorned with plastic roses
aged photos of mothers, fathers melted in ceramic tiles
gracing the boxes, meant to pay tribute to the lineage
of men and women on the island nation decimated
by weapons like Ivy Mike unleashed on Bikini and others
forcing the creation of even more downtown memorials
for gawkers to photo, natives to cherish.
Will U.S. millions ever pay back
the loss of a culture, the ruin of hundreds of tribes?

People who built canoes, fished tuna, baked breadfruit
today drink Coke, eat Fritos, chew betel nut, send prostitutes
to Chinese, Japanese and American ships as payment in full
as, “Hallelujah, I’m saved!” rings from each shiny new church
saving lives by the hundreds each and every day
in exchange for all souls now and forever after.

March 18, 2017

editors note: It’s the capitalist way – world without end. – mh clay

The White Girl by Sarah Henry

Whistler’s portrait
of his mistress
turned up at our
National Gallery of Art.
I didn’t expect to be
struck by the spectacle
of a pale girl
in a long, bluntly
white dress.
A dress like this,
“was only worn at home.”
In private, anything
can happen.
The limp hand holds
a reluctant lily.
That her long red hair
is messy and fetching
is meaningless to her.
Her eyes look so vacant,
you could do anything
at all with her. This
is just a suggestion.

March 17, 2017

editors note: Just a suggestion… – mh clay

Toward Solipsism by Larry Levy

I pull the curtain around me
and go it alone.

I am showered upon –
pin-pricked into submission
by a steady shiver of arrows.
The water runs over me
like greedy fingers
and I feel desirable.

I tuck my cock
between my legs –
my longing turned inward.
I’m beautiful and I ache –
every pore now receptive
to my feminine touch.

Is there no woman
man enough
to man-handle me
as I need a woman to do?

I face the mists
with eyes closed,
and from these recycled tears
feel the pain of every woman
who has ever cried
over a man.

March 16, 2017

editors note: First, you gotta love yourself. – mh clay

Gold Fish and Favorited Color Yellow by Tom Hatch

You’d be surprised what goes in the water
Behind the silhouetted tree leafless in the
Window in yellow light

You’d be surprised what goes in the water
When the door opens yellow light
Streams a leafless tree

You’d be surprised what goes in the water
Below the hearth above a yellow fire
Burns a tree shadow dancing on the wall

I want to get sloppy with yellow dances
Streams and silhouettes
That blend to be a full page that is yellow

Trees are leafless to keep out
Any brown or green
While yellow lovers stare at the blended page

Made larger by all the gold fish
That went down children’s dead
Toilet bowl drains
The non revelry of yellow
Of kids I’ll never know
That have a gold mine in the septic tank
Of dead fish

March 15, 2017

editors note: Down drain because dead; or, yellow? – mh clay

SILENCE by Ruth Z. Deming

Be silent
Be silent when you wake up
in the morning light drizzling
thru your lavender drapes

Listen to the sounds of the world
whether the cars splashing up the
street – oh, so it rained last night! – or
the mournful whistle of the passenger train

Are you afraid to hear the
whispers in your own mind?
Give them room
Give them space
They have a right to be heard!

There’s that squirrel again
outside on the back porch
the same one I saw last week
Peering at me as he nibbles
an acorn – or is it a dreidl? –
as the world enfolds us both, unconcerned.

March 14, 2017

editors note: Again, what we hear between silences shapes our world. – mh clay

Sowing the Seeds of Compassion by Indunil Madhusankha

More than a hundred times
I had wished I would die early
Before I could no longer
look after myself

If I ever happened to be
that old grandma
at least for a moment
I would rather die
than hearing the incessant
insult of the mistress
and its sharp boom
piercing the ears
almost like a wailing trumpet

The old lady was
perhaps in her nineties
Yes, the grey hair and
the pale skin
that wrinkled loose
from the bones
were a credible indication

One day I paid her a visit
and I couldn’t help my asking
why she would bear up all that cruelty
Then, despite the infirmities
she managed to stand up
and gently held my hands
I could well feel the slight
trembling of her chilly fingers

Then she caressed my head
and pointed towards the altar
that bore the sacred Buddha statuette
with the scent of the incense sticks
spreading everywhere
I saw how her feeble eyes
still gleamed with compassion
as she quoted from a Pāli Gātha,
“Nahi werena werāni”
and translated,
“Hatred never ceases by hatred”

From that day onwards
I have been wishing
I would also be blessed
with such a heart
So pious a heart
sowing the seeds of compassion!

March 13, 2017

editors note: From every culture, the elderly would tell us this. Maybe we should listen? (A “Gāthā” is a verse or hymn in Buddhism.) – mh clay

DELICIOSO! by Ricky Garni

By the time I pronounce bruschetta correctly as many times as I pronounced bruschetta incorrectly, I will be an old man, and no longer able to afford bruschetta, and if I can afford bruschetta, I will no longer know what it is and I will ask “What’s that?” and they will say “bruschetta” and I will say, “Who cares, Tommy? I for one, do not.” And then I will eat it and I will enjoy it, and they will say, “Tony.”

March 12, 2017

editors note: Buon appetito! (Whatever your name is.) – mh clay

••• Short Stories •••

If you are in need of something but just not sure what it is, perhaps it’s not a case of something blue, maybe all you need is a read. If so, we got just what the head doc ordered!

This week’s featured short story, Malaise comes from Nadia Wolnisty.

Here’s what Short Story Editor Tyler Malone has to say:

“It follows, you wait. The end is always in motion but we don’t feel it because we hope the world and all its wonders spin around us.”

“Malaise” starts a lil something like this:

(photo “What Waits? What Don’t You Want?” (above) by Tyler Malone aka The Second Shooter)

You are sitting at home one Wednesday afternoon when you get a call. 9-1-1, you are having an emergency, the voice on the other end says. You decide to remain calm. You ask her to be a little more specific. That’s not my department, she explains, I can transfer you, but there’s a three-to-five minute hold-time, and by then….I understand, you say, even though you do not. Then what? Then what? Isn’t that the predicament you’re in right now?

Maybe we can figure it out together, says the voice on the other end, who sounds a little too desperate to be professional, as if she were new at her job. Okay, you figure, that’s the only thing to do, so you nod, even though you know she can’t see you…

If that snippet is doin’ the trick then you best rush your way to Mad Swirl and get the rest of this read on… NOW!


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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