“Part of the fun of art is that it invites you to interpret it.” ~ Tony Kushner
••• The Mad Gallery •••
••• The Poetry Forum •••
This last week in Mad Swirl’s Poetry Forum… we raised Cain, again and again; we took a cold bath to wash away sin; we moved in the melee of morality; we abandoned abundance to scarcity; we struggled to speak the best word for else; we spun some wicker licked night time spells; we bared all, no shades, no walls. They come tumblin’ down… ~ MH Clay
sunglasses by Carl Kavadlo
something about this guy’s glasses,
in his glasses,
and me sitting writing
embarrassed over the
and flaws over
my body of work –
the only way to build a body
shattering it in nakedness
in vulnerability in uncertainty
the only way to destroy it
is in protection.
July 15, 2017
editors note: So, take off your shades. I dare you. – mh clay
a wasp licks the wickers by Allan Harold Rex
I name them all
I name all the
that I burn in
I name them alpha beta or count
them with numbers
Call them the
a pen carried by a poet
in dim lit hours
as he walks through
the paddy’s form
from where he
starts to talk
and writes of
things as such
greying hair length of a night
Toothing the mouth
of a clay hut near
draining end of
draped within the
of a flickering lamp
licks the wickers
of the lamps flame
July 14, 2017
editors note: Close enough to lick but not light. – mh clay
naught that vanquished by Volodymyr Bilyk
that vanquished the awkward,
a solemn flat-line,
thought to be a cliffhanger…
…that particular kind
– where the response should be…
this lingering folly,
a vapid contortion of sorts –
written off nastily
while longing for else
on a whim of spelling it out.
July 13, 2017
editors note: The unspoken, the else. Can’t quite put a finger on it… – mh clay
Arid by Devon Balwit
The water table of equanimity
has drained beneath the range
The well-borer’s drill unearths
nothing; the dowser’s rod
refuses to quiver.
Desperate for clouds, we suck
road gravel in the glare
of our own sun,
then, grinding within and
without, we abandon all
we have made.
July 12, 2017
editors note: An odd, dry freedom in abandonment. – mh clay
Ironic Song of Praise by Glen Armstrong
This is a reaching out,
an admission that you and I
are just the trial size
of some divine product.
We concede the advantage
to that which nests
in our thighs.
We exhale an ironic song
of praise to briefly enhance
that which irons
its pants on the sidewalk’s
For the sake of hanging gardens
and the shadows they cast
after 4:00 p.m.,
for the sake of birds that seem
plentiful, even redundant,
sometimes a nuisance but never
a threat, for the sake of corn
and Christ and pity,
we must keep our zippers well oiled
but stuck in the up position.
July 11, 2017
editors note: Oh, to ache for the sake… – mh clay
Outlaw by Rachael Crosbie
Pale periwinkle stretches on the walls
when light beams through thin clouds.
Lying on the floor, the sheet and sheer
pajamas cling to my calves.
Plastic wrinkles as I move, and you,
sprawled out on the vinyl mattress like a starfish,
scrunch into the fetal position.
Wind blows the motel door wide open,
raw waves glide in glacial movement–
slow but known.
I slide in a cold bath like a slippery minnow.
You pull me out, leaving the unborn under the sink.
July 10, 2017
editors note: Badly happened or badly done; forget unto forgiveness. – mh clay
Social Unrest by Douglas Polk
two hundred and fifty years old,
bursting through the years to modern time,
keeping track of misdeeds,
generation after generation,
bloodshed justified by both sides,
biased by the pain,
through the years,
the mark of Cain,
a communal mark,
on every head.
July 9, 2017
editors note: Genetic grudge; can’t shake it, gotta hate it. – mh clay
••• Short Stories •••
Happy Need-a-Read Day! We here at Mad Swirl can feel some “magic” in the air today. No really, we literally & literaturely do…
Here’s what short story editor, Tyler Malone has to say about this week’s featured read:
“Ask a parent if they’ve ever made magic. If they see into another plane, there’s hope they’ll say, ‘Out of nothing but my own life, I made you.'”
Here’s a li’l abracadabra to get this spell goin’:
(“Mother’s Eye” (above) by Tyler Malone aka The Second Shooter)
I grew up thinking my mother was magic. She recited memorized poetry in the bath every night and when she was home (which was often), she was naked, if not in her long silk robe that always drooped lazily, untied, and exposing her all the same. She smelt of rum and frankincense and had hair so long and so thick that her braids looked like manilla ropes. She had never worked a day in her life, she never had to. She painted still life and they would hang in coffee shops until they’d sell for one-hundred bucks a piece. She’d spend her earnings on incense and lingerie and tubs of cookie dough ice cream, never on bills and never on us kids but that was fine. My father supported our family as a finance broker, though I think he resented her for this. He was a painter, too, but stopped pursuing the arts when my oldest brother was born.
My mother kept philosophical books around the house but I never saw her read them. She would buy exotic fruits from foreign markets and never eat them. She counted everything in fours, it was her lucky number and she swore by it, obsessively—that was why she had four kids.
She called herself a psychic. She swore she could look at anybody and see their past life and past death. This was her favorite, I think, because no one could ever prove her wrong. I had been a man living in South Africa, she’d tell me, looking me right in the eyes like he was in there somewhere. Two kids and a wife. I had drowned.
She claimed to have visions in her sleep but never proactively, only once they happened.
“I dreamt about this two nights ago…” she’d murmur with a sort of stunned fascination. I’d been equally fascinated for years. My mother, pure magic. Over time, though, I started finding it phony…
Get the rest of this mad-gical read on right here!
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Short Story Editor