“I don’t like to say I have given my life to art. I prefer to say art has given me my life”
••• The Mad Gallery •••
“hurry leave me” (above) by featured artist Madelyn Olson.
It’s been a great run featuring Madelyn Olson’s mad canvases!
This one will finish her run as our featured artist. But don’t you worry, we’ve lined up yet another bad ass artisté that is gonna spark your mad-gination’s eye as much as Maddi’s work has!
To see more of Maddi’s mad canvases, as well as our other featured artists, visit our Mad Gallery!
••• The Poetry Forum •••
This last week on Mad Swirl’s Poetry Forum… we spoke a divine pick up line; we made a malignant magic trick; we told a tale, from fire to liar; we felt addiction’s needle prick; we gave to low so we’d be higher; we got no aid in a grim crusade; we settled in, all comfy clean, to watch the end on big flat screen. We are all here till the end. Pass the popcorn, and a pen. ~ MH Clay
THREE HAIKU FOR THE COOL by Sam Silva
Our eyes rot themselves
…no vision lingers with us!
Fall burns leaves to smoke.
Football is our God!
…a religion of such things!
…war is like a game.
We fail to budge in life
…soon the storm will come to us!
Winter on TV.
May 12, 2018
editors note: Best stock up and settle in; the ultimate in spectator sport approaches… – mh clay
crusade by John Sweet
or these babies left behind in
burning villages or the ones found
in suitcases along the edge of
this girl on the hotel bed who
says get it out of me
who has no use for witches
no use for minor gods or
broken saints and the question is
always how to punish him
the taste in your mouth
is always blood
is always gasoline because
whatever bombs we’ve made will
have to be used
whichever women we’ve raped
will need to be butchered
faith is what we’ve invented
out of the need to be forgiven
May 11, 2018
editors note: No shade of rose can color the bad we do. We fear no forgiveness. – mh clay
Rabbit Lies Scheming by Jeff Bagato
Please go to the edge of night with your wallet
two fisted out front and ready
to drop into my trick or treat rent box;
I’m the provider of your joy in return
‘cause you didn’t have to give
an arm or another hour
to ransom your good comfort
reputation but only a couple
bucks to the funny stranger
in his rabbit eared cap
and fuzzy galoshes,
whistling between his teeth
stuck out, dreaming of a
better life so you
won’t have to
May 10, 2018
editors note: The Easter Bunny in his off-season; resurrecting positive self-image and belief in the dream. – mh clay
Skid Row Sutra by Mike Zone
Neptune sea foamed infused logos tea
writing’s on the wall
a singular melted sex
hypodermic needles in the grass
plastic liquor bottles full of piss
the poison of temporary enlightenment
riding that crucifix into jaded nirvana
May 9, 2018
editors note: Life’s beverage (believ-a-cola); a capricious brew, isn’t it? – mh clay
Snapback by Scott Thomas Outlar
Once upon a time, there was a fire.
Come to me now, and I will be
your perfect disaster/lacking consequence/
breathing only the stale miasma
that must be sucked from the sky.
Once upon a time, there was a wound.
Place your lips on mine, and I will bite
with fangs blessed by God/righteously anointed/
spitting out the plastic utopia flames
that melt this petroleum paradise into a puddle.
Once upon a time, there was a fallout.
Speak to me now, and I will answer
with the intensity of nuclear inclinations/crashing empires/
swirling with the wind of chaos
that tastes of whitewash poison on the tongue.
Once upon a time, there was a liar.
Trust in me now, and I will dress you
in a perfect suit and tie/soapbox symptoms/
testing the limits of a broken theory
that pushes and pulls until the rubber snaps.
May 8, 2018
editors note: So much “once upon a time,” too little “happily ever after.” – mh clay
Myth of Sanity or Illusion by Ken Allan Dronsfield
Crack in the wall lets in the light from the stars.
Music echoes through orbs in the weeping willows.
Dust in tears leave tracks on the fresh fallen snow.
Please Igor, can you give me just a little more light?
Darkness holds my candle hostage at twilight’s crescendo.
Contemptuous dreaming through an incessant screaming,
I can’t feel my body with these hands of sanded mounds.
Quickly Igor, turn up the bass and let the walls crumble.
The insolent soulless itinerant grasps a shard of burning
sky tossing the planets into the blender creating a black
hole of unequivocal despair and treacherous malignancy.
Igor, just hit the red button, watch me rise into a nebula!
While jellied stars with glimmering diamonds danced into
the night, yellowed creamy desert moons stomped shells
of glowing peanuts long into the harvest on whiskey road.
Igor, head to the dungeon, the bell, book and candle await!
Remove a black top hat from the parlor rack, white gloves
aside, all these days of triumph and red transfixed illusions.
Waving the black obsidian wand, a magical fantasy exists.
Damn it Igor, I said the top hat, this conjures only rabbits!
May 7, 2018
editors note: What the young god did to amuse his friends. Damn it, Igor! (Ken Allan has a new collection out, A Taint of Pity. You can get your copy here. Check it out!) – mh clay
Divine parallelism by Amy Barry
What I want is to hear
my heart beat like lusty fire
and see my fingers reach out
to touch your breath.
What I want is to embrace you,
and my feverish lips
to kiss you with urgency
like the desire of a storm —
beauty and passion erupts
like the rising sun.
May 6, 2018
editors note: Where desire makes parallel lines meet. – mh clay
••• Short Stories •••
“Coo-coo, coo-coo, coo-coo, coo-coo!”
It seems the clock is tellin’ us it’s Need-a-Read time!
Here’s what Short Story Editor Tyler Malone’s has to say about this week’s featured tale:
“An existential crisis for the birds. They might be above our heads but they’re no better than us.”
“The Cuckoo That Couldn’t“ takes flight like this:
(photo “Among the Lowlife” by Tyler Malone aka The Second Shooter)
Is destiny carved or does instinct win out? What causes a species to thrive or thin out? Are queries and theories the puzzles they seem? Let’s hark to a cuckoo tale spun from a dream.
There once was a cuckoo who happened to grow into a rare nestling that needed to know about all the whispers and strange twittered words that designate cuckoos as crazy weird birds.
The cuckoo embarked on a singular quest in search of identity there in that nest. Why am I where I am? Who am I? What for? Must I mimic others, or can I be more?
Should cuckoos be cuckoo, if cuckoos they be, and have such a dysfunctional family?…
To find out the coo-coo-conclusion of this bird’s tale, fly on over to this here link!
••• Best of Mad Swirl : v2017 •••
This year Mad Swirl has engaged the necessary resources to publish a print anthology, The Best of Mad Swirl: v2017!
This will present the best of last year’s works posted on MadSwirl.com; poems (52 to be exact), short stories (a cool dozen) and art (four to feast upon)!
We are excited about this anthology, the first print copy of Mad Swirl to be published since 2009.
We expect to complete this collection in the next few weeks & goin’ to press by late May/early June.
Watch our website and our Facebook page for more details…
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