“We live at the edge of the miraculous.”
••• The Mad Gallery •••
“untitled – (a8)” (above) by featured artist R. Keith.
To see more of R. Keith’s mixed-media madness, as well as our other featured artists, visit our Mad Gallery!
••• The Poetry Forum •••
This last lean of Seventeen on Mad Swirl’s Poetry Forum… we walked our own history, through magic and mystery; we got comfy under cosmic cover, colliding with a cosmic lover; we dipped our toes in Time’s river, our reflections flow in shimmering slivers; we thought to think in words not thought, to think without, absurdly sought; we resolved to party, the end lurking near, if not for the world, at least for the year. So much more we need to say, to write what muse would make us; we need another year to play, a year of swirls to take us. Happy New Year, Mad Fam! ~ MH Clay
JAZZ EVERY NIGHT TILL THE END OF THE WORLD by Sam Silva
Sexy saxophone you howl
to the Moon
that your silver chambers
burn like a bowl
of opium weed
in the cool beyond words
in a hole
where the deep heart
left itself to bleed
and soon drifted on
past witchey October
to a place where the Sun
has long since gone…
December 31, 2017
editors note: May end never come; sun never caught. New Year welcomed, as we ought. (We welcome Sam to our crazy congress of Contributing Poets with this submission. Read more of his madness on his new page – check it out.) – mh clay
SÉANCE by Willie Smith
How to word thought
without deliberate thought;
deliberately to deliver through word thought.
We dead, you see, although, of course,
you can’t, think not.
Tie instead our tie
in a Windsor not on the map.
Sword the Gordian from a corner
Descartes could never paint. Depress the tongue
to lace our shoe with air. Step on the gas,
cut the smoke; sever the link. Belt every
swinging loop through each vacuum. Shoo the owl
to save the shrew who in the moral becomes you.
Although, really, nothing becomes you; nothing so
shrewd as thought too fast for word. We dead
through eyeteeth star our cuffs to blow,
when out we jitter to take on the wind
to divvy our take on the wind,
howling how word thought. So
go and word a dream for the mirror to look thought.
December 31, 2017
editors note: Um hum, thought so! – mh clay
It could have been by Christopher A. Calle
It could have been any fall Saturday.
When fall was still a season.
It’s for you.
Few constants survive the human scale.
Constancy an illusion.
Even stone elegies.
Their permanence, loose bookmarks in pages of time.
Their certain messages understood through increasingly diffuse context.
Boulders in a stream – eventually worn smooth by water’s improbably patient friction. Deep is the canyon holding the river of time.
With practiced hand, I wonder how its eventuality will represent a black future.
No message, no artifice.
A life to recall through increasingly diffuse context – in a deeply confusing life.
Why does the tree grow?
December 29, 2017
editors note: Our growth rate depends on how patiently we endure the friction; it can be rough to be smooth. – mh clay
Under a spiral arm by Mike Fiorito
Under a spiral arm, she kissed me. A beam of moon-glare light streaked past us. A meteorite?
She laughed. But my heart felt heavy. Something about her emerald eyes said she would have to leave.
Shiny metallic rocks. A pulsar beating like a desperate heart. The sound of a waterfall.
Scared of heights, I looked at where my feet stood. I must be standing upright, I thought, but it was hard to tell. Was this an asteroid? I had only seen them in books. Dark black chunks of angular rock. Pockets of glittery metals. Suspended in the shawl of eternal night.
I didn’t know her name, but I knew her. Yet I couldn’t place when or where we had met. Maybe we had always met here. Her paraffin white face, so smooth and perfect. Full lips, like rose pedals. Almond shapes eyes.
We didn’t speak so much as share jokes, looking at the stars. I made a gesture, pointing my finger, suggesting that I lived in one of those distant solar systems. Her laugh made my skin tickle. She nodded and pointed with her nose, as if saying yeah I’m going to be just as vague with my astronomical directions. Then she reached out to hold my hands in hers. She took a deep breath. Suddenly, her eyes grew wet. I wanted to burst out crying, too. All of my old games laid bare. All my hang-ups exposed. We held each other, our bodies shaking.
Then everything seemed to tilt. A hole in the sky opened, pulling everything into it. As she drifted away, we reached toward each other. In that moment, her fingers like long flower stems. Her nails painted ocean blue.
I knew we’d meet again.
December 28, 2017
editors note: A celestial tryst, a stellar stop, a romantic ride; (seeking?) certainty of love in an infinite loop. – mh clay
Infinite Road by Bruce Mundhenke
To almost know is nothing,
Mystery still unsolved,
Still so much unknown.
Mystery so magical,
Journey without end,
Sweet, sweet inspiration,
Almost takes you there,
To the destination
Of your quest to know,
The answer that evades you,
As you navigate
This never ending road.
December 27, 2017
editors note: It’s the questions which derail us and re-trail us. Does seem like forever, doesn’t it? – mh clay
••• Short Stories •••
Here’s what Short Story Editor Tyler Malone has to say about this pick-of-the-week story:
There are no bad days, there are no good days, but every day is a day we wait for something to happen, and that assembles to life.
(photo “Bare Light” by Tyler Malone aka The Second Shooter)
Cubie sat at his COSTCO-purchased, black leather folding card table. He began pondering the possibilities of another short work. He was lucky because he sold a crime novel of 38 chapters, and the sale brought him some free time for writing. I’m playing with the devil, though, and soon my luck will run out.
The devil of luck with the word.
He thought deeply: A man can murder a man under the sun. A defense lawyer can render his client not guilty. A murder under the sun did not happen. But there are certain things you can’t adjust with, make happen…
What you CAN adjust and make happen is gettin’ the rest of this read on right here!
••• Mad Swirl Open Mic •••
Join Mad Swirl this 1st Wednesday of January (aka 01.03.18) when we’ll be doin’ the open mic voodoo that we do at City Tavern!
Get a heapin’ helpin’ of musical mad grooves from Swirve & share in these yin’n & yang’n Mad Swirl’n festivities…
Come all ye yin & yang hangers
Ye yang & yin winners
Ye lookers for the new
Ye bookers of the blue skies beyond
the auld lang syne
Transformers and reformers and resolved heart warmers
We’re gonna shake the old and new together
To make a “now” like no other
At Mad Swirl’s New Year 201-8
We promise, it will be like none to come, like none past
It’ll be our New Year “Now is Never”
Open Mic Blast
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!
P.S. For you Facebookers out there, check out our Facebook event page and get yourself a spot on our pre-list!
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