“Follow your inner moonlight; don’t hide the madness”
••• The Mad Gallery •••
“Georgie” (above) by featured artist Elvin Armando
To see more of Elvin’s macabre 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 recalled a time at a five-and-dime; we stuck the landing for icicle understanding; we opened wide to taste the tide; we got enough feast on the beautiful beast; we sought no succor from a high beam f**cker; we scratched a sand sine in the violin whine of the zero line; we looked back at how baby him’s now. We did! ~ MH Clay
Baby Dream by Paul Sexton
When I was asleep
on the couch
I dreamed of
my oldest son
as a baby.
He was laughing
in a diaper.
I felt like
I really missed him.
Like I haven’t seen him
Which was confusing.
Then as I was kind of
I had to acclimate
to the fact that
the reason I haven’t seen
is because he grew up.
And he’s 19 now.
And I saw him last week.
And he was drinking whiskey
and talking about
having sex with girls.
June 2, 2018
editors note: And then baby him will dream one day of baby you. – mh clay
Alternating Current, Either Turbulent or Serene by Xiaoyuan Yin
On the beach, you asked the man in grayish windbreaker:
‘How do you define ‘The Will’?’
He drew a sine-wave with his finger in the sand, then wiped it away
With waves at his command. A capful of vinegar, and seething calories of vegetables
In your stomach, turning and burning, gave you the illusion
Of snakes slithering away somewhere behind. Last night on your way home,
There was a repeat of the scene, in which she refused to allow you
To touch her rain-drenched violin. ‘Keep your distance, am I clear?
Only one of the strings is the zero line, you just can’t tell which!’ She smiled weirdly
And ran upstairs. The string which snapped during the performance
Dragged along behind her, was as thick as a towrope. Confused, standing still there,
You tossed a coin into the air, and heard it
Droning fast, with strong and weak beats, alternating,
A downpour and a flood – overflowing in different directions.
Fourteen days are needed to dry your nets, and clear
All water-level data. Landforms, temperature, light from above
And your masculinity, will be turned inside out like a coat
On the other side of the globe.
June 1, 2018
editors note: You can touch my violin… Inside outside out side in. – mh clay
Life, Today by Chuck Taylor
Jesus, would you look at that idiot,
really, take a look at that sucker,
roll the window down nice and easy,
stick your head out and get a good look,
Jesus, pulls up right behind us,
a millimeter from the back bumper,
it’s fucking two in the morning, we’re
on a down slope at the light, he’s in
one of those ungodly four-wheel drive
minivans or some such shit, and he’s
got the high beams on, he’s laser
lighting us, the movie projector beam
slashes through the back window,
ricochets off the rear view mirror
and cuts into our eyes, the whole
car’s lighted up like some alien
spaceship is hovering above us,
more light than inside the newest
convenience store at the corner
of Mount Parnassas and Homer
Avenue, more light than your Father
puts out from his high holy throne,
Jesus, what is your world coming to,
they don’t care, they high beam
you everywhere, going down the
neighborhood streets, going down
the two lane blacktops, Jesus, it’s
not that they are mad, it’s not that
they are trying to do you in because
they got a grudge against the way
your Father made things, it’s just
that they fucking don’t acknowledge
a place for what’s beyond their own
special selves, Jesus, high beaming
you, everyone, always, the fuckers,
here and universal everywhere
May 31, 2018
editors note: These days, even at night, you gotta wear shades. – mh clay
VANITY AND THE EGO HAS PINOCCHIO’S NOSE by Michael H. Brownstein
I am disgust in this little town
and my legs no longer brilliant.
O Lord! O Tambourine Head!
O Beautiful Beast of the Mountain!
I eat tambourine plates
and everything caught in a net.
When the strongman cut his toenails
When the weak man let his hair grow
The food on the table of plenty
fed the nation with blood and flesh.
When the strong took on themselves
When the weak rose to the challenge
We ate squid and crayfish.
We ate oyster shells and banana skins.
When the man lets go of his vanity
When the men let go of their vanity
There was enough to go around.
There was always enough to go around.
May 30, 2018
editors note: When enough was enough. How much is that anymore? – mh clay
I Say Dream Only by Dah
It starts to cloud, heavy gray clouds
then begins to rain
Drops the length of drumsticks
The tin roof on a beach shack
is a tight percussive skin
that rises off-pitch
Dune grasses sway
to the drumming
flap to the beat
The waves applaud
We take refuge in the shack
The storm crashes against the walls
We sleep or should I say dream only
She, a starfish, I, a gray line
Starfish floats, gray line catches
Huddled together on a wooden cot
surrounded by sand, salt, storm
She, a starfish, I, a gray line
I lift her to taste the sea
a clam floats over my tongue
I lift her higher
tasting more of the sea
May 29, 2018
editors note: Open wide and say, “Ahhh.” Save room for seconds. (We welcome Dah to our crazy congress of Contributing Poets with this submission. Read more of his madness on his new page – check it out.) – mh clay
Indenture by Sanjeev Sethi
Do icicles understand
transience is award
Knowledge about the self
contributes to the case.
Ken to drum this
is subscription to turnstiles
one can’t see.
Eyes hurt, head throbs:
downers bring me
to your doorway.
Accept me as I’m.
Some mirth, some misery.
In rejoicing is your rig
in contrition your cast.
May 28, 2018
editors note: Drumming up acceptance; knowledge of your brand? Better to know thyself. (I’m what I’m, and that’s all I’m!) – mh clay
Woolworth’s, 1970 by Marianne Szlyk
She remembers the lunch counter
in her grandmother’s city,
half a day’s drive on backroads
to smaller towns in Canada.
She didn’t remember anyone black
at the counter or in the stores.
She remembers ordering a hamburger
like Grandma did, never looking
at the cracked, greasy menu.
She remembers cages
of green parakeets,
the thick smell of popcorn,
heaps of butts and ash
in the ashtrays on the counter.
“The Long and Winding Road”
billowed out from the record shop
speakers like curtains in the summer.
She wonders how different
this Woolworth’s was
from Greensboro’s in 1960.
She thinks to ask her grandmother
but knows she never will.
May 27, 2018
editors note: Color recalled in no color. – mh clay
••• Short Stories •••
This week’s featured short, from Mad Swirl Contributing Writer/Poet/Artist Mike Fiorito, mighty divine read!
Here’s what Short Story Editor Tyler Malone has to say about this pick-of-the-week:
“Whatever size you think an author of all could be, think of smaller. Pray to something as small as a memory, when everything out a door was a new universe.”
Here’s a bit of Mike’s “Simulcrum“ to enlighten ya:
(photo “Highest Call” by Tyler Malone aka The Second Shooter)
Ever since St. Bernadette had a vision of Mary in the grotto, tourists came to Lourdes, some to be healed by its miracle.
Arriving by train in Lourdes, Roberto alighted onto the streets, now crowded with seekers from across the globe.
They came from all over the world, some on crutches, some in wheelchairs, and some even on flat beds. They all came in quest of a miracle.
“You see this queue,” said Genevieve, his French guide, pointing to the long line of people who waited to pass through the grotto. “They’ve come to touch the stone where Mary is said to have appeared.” The line to enter the grotto seemed endless. Then there was a queue of people returning from the grotto; yet none seemed to be healed. And none of them looked disappointed either. Some were wheeled back on beds, their eyes looking heavenward. There was an ecstasy even in the failure of the enterprise. One elderly man clutched rosary beads close to his chest, his teeth chattering.
“Bernadette’s father was put in prison after she told the local church about her visions,” continued Genevieve, as men walked by holding full-sized crosses like a fleet of crusaders.
“She had over thirty visions,” she added, hunching her shoulders, running her fingers through her straight greasy hair. She sweated heavily in the August heat; her glasses misted from the humidity.
Nestled at the foothills of the Pyrenees, the sun mercilessly rained down in flames on Lourdes. The sun’s rays stung Roberto’s pale cheeks.
“Why did they imprison her father?” a German on the tour meekly asked.
“She threatened the authority of the church,” Genevieve quickly replied. As she spoke, wayfarers rushed by holding banners proclaiming their church affiliations, as if sprung from out of the middle-ages.
“Isn’t it ironic that mystics and visionaries became the thorn in the side of the church?” she asked. No one ventured a reply…
Say one Hail Mary & Our Father then get the rest of this righteous read!
••• Mad Swirl Open Mic •••
Join Mad Swirl & Swirve (with the duo, Monte Espina) this 1st Wednesday of June (aka 06.06.18) at 8:00 SHARP as we continue to swirl up our mic madness at our mad mic-ness home, Dallas’ City Tavern!
This month we will be hosting the 3rd Annual Dr. Googily-Eyes Healing Circus & Mad Swirlin’ Medicine Show: Inciting the Rise of YES and the Fall of NO. (‘Nuff said? yeah, we thought so;)
Come on out, one & all… share in the Mad Swirl’n festivities, & if the spirit is movin’ ya get yourself a spot on our list. 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!
For you ‘bookers out there, visit our Facebook event page to RSVP!
••• 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