The Best of Mad Swirl : 04.20.19

by on April 21, 2019 :: 0 comments

“We’re all mad here.”

Lewis Carroll

••• The Mad Gallery •••

A-E-I-O-UUUUUU ~ Sharon O’Callaghan Shero

To see ALL of Sharon’s wonderful Wonderland snaps, as well as our other featured artists (45 total!), visit our Mad Gallery!

••• The Poetry Forum •••

This last week on Mad Swirl’s Poetry Forumwe picked up one with a shiny gun; we changed frantic channel flipping to puny proverb quipping; we eased our tension with god invention; we exerted will to hold time still; we awaited the grand traverse with the help of a tired night nurse; we weathered the norm of a memory storm; we mourned the lot of a last snapshot. To picture him as he pictured us, free at last from all our fuss, look into the camera and say… peace. RIP, Dan Rodriguez. ~ MH Clay

Photoengrave, Attuned to Shadow by Ty Malone

Light chased and you carried its weight.
When we spoke, you saw, illuminated our words.
Can’t photograph breaths but what’s breathing,
used to speaking to ghosts, rarely seeing ourselves
lucky with eyes but few measure colors between black and white.

How we’re attuned to shadows isn’t as beautiful as how
we’re exposed in light that speaks for our story.

We see you in dark rooms, measuring
what we see, as we are, how we are.

Vision is but eyes aren’t perpetual so hold to this—
as you saw us
as we hope we sound—profound, ignited bends in shades.

Permanent swirls in static.

April 20, 2019

editors note: This is Tyler’s tribute to our friend and Mad Brother, Dan Rodriguez. Dan has moved on to the next great adventure and we will miss him greatly. No one could bring our words to light like he could. – mh clay

I just can’t… by Rob Dyer

I had the weather channel on
for an hour and I feel
like every memory I hold is
anvil heavy, every tear
flowing across Interstate 10,
every bad day I owned, is
day one for the unaware

survivors have rights, unpaid
freedom charged against the horrors

my tongue is black
tomorrow will never come
and your best dream is
swirling in a gutter of disbelief

it looks like rain

April 19, 2019

editors note: Black skies, black tongue. Need a soul slicker to weather these storms. – mh clay

Intensive Care Unit by Stew Jorgenson

The night nurse
clad in surgical tape
dispenses antiseptic grace
and sleepwalks
through her coffee break
fighting to stay awake
in the code blue
fluorescent fog
of all those yawning beds
full of tired old dogs
in the sunshine of death.

April 18, 2019

editors note: Thanks to those who deal with us in darkness, lighting our way to a sunny rest. – mh clay

No One Wears Pocket Watches Anymore by Beau Blue

he always had his thumb
and index finger in his watch
pocket trying to hold time
still

it was his ‘prize’ possession
and he held it lovingly
stroked it constantly
chanting to ease its burden

of knowing the exact size
of tomorrow

April 17, 2019

editors note: A true nervous tick. – mh clay

TETHERING by Tony Robinson

We’re closer now
Joined at the synapse
The electronic halo

Compression of space
Quickening of time
Gaining of microns
Splitting of quanta

Boomerang
Lasso
Backboard
Leash

Coming towards
Coming apart
Umbilicus
Of sound
Womb
Of light
Dictatorship
Of inward flow
Free market
Of outward pulse
Reality that is
Clear
Crystalline
Displayed
More real than
You’ll ever be

Mandating acceleration
Flooding the target
Measuring the path
Showering the neurons
Until another datum
Enters the portal:
Calculated
Assessed
Abandoned
Destroyed

But we’ll
Reboot the system
Manufacture the solution
Mix the dopamine cocktail
Invent the savior

We’re closer now
Than we’ve ever been

April 16, 2019

editors note: So “close,” but can’t solve the equation for “there.” – mh clay

PROVERBS by Tony Gentry

We thought, I guess, that we could pretend it was all just a tv reality show on a station we didn’t get. Where they jack boys (and girls) up on 5-Hour Energy shots, wrap them in Kevlar and canvas, and drop them in the desert with weapons out of space movies to rampage or whatever. Where some nerd in a silo in Charlottesville steers a joystick swabbed with steri-wipes, what the President calls surgical strikes, which just means somebody else does the cleanup. The frakking channel, the oil shale channel, the hole in the ocean floor channel. The mystery series: bee deaths, whale beachings, backyard coyotes, polar bear strandings, fire ants, the waning of butterflies. To us it’s senseless: the campus gang rapes, the trigger-happy cops, the arsonists, students with automatic rifles gone rogue, the suicides, the cancers buying radiologists condos. We buy better locks, rig cameras in the garage, work two jobs when we can find them. We do get that the circle of those we can trust dwindles by the year. Old farmer’s sayings we’ve forgotten or snort at, beer bubbling from our snouts. Things like, chickens come home to roost, reap what you sow, red sky at morning, the whole is greater…

April 15, 2019

editors note: And, you can lead a horse… Wait, where’s the water? (We welcome Tony to our crazy congress of Contributing Poets with this submission. Read more of his madness on his new page – check it out.) – mh clay

Glitter by Adriane Nero

Pick me up
So I can
Begin Today
This is where
I was left

Having given purpose for a day
I’m glad I did
Hope I fixed
The way I’d imagined
Since we never try to remember

You thought I’d stay down
Remain silent
You know me better than
That

If you hate it
Stop helping me load this gun
But ain’t it shiny?
Yeah I like shiny shit too
‘S why I like you

Pick me up
I’m not going to
Change
You need me like I am
And I need to begin

There just may
Be
A poem in
Here somewhere
Esoteric rubber bullets directly striking
Targets

If you don’t pick me up
I’ll have to begin

From down here

April 14, 2019

editors note: A tender target; shouts from the shooting gallery. Lock and load. – mh clay

••• Short Stories •••

This “Need-a-Read” pick of the week comes from Contributing Writer, Bruce Mundhenke.

Here’s what Short Story Editor Tyler Malone has to say about Bruce’s truth-filled fictional flashback of fate, 1969:

“Our first steps begins steps back, when we first moved towards a future we couldn’t see. But maybe something did.”

(photo “Sum ’69” by Tyler Malone)

Take a step back to “1969” right here

••• Open Mic •••

Join Mad Swirl this 1st Wednesday of May (aka 05.01.19) at 8:00 SHARP when as we swirl up the mic at our mad mic-ness home, The Regal Room (located inside of Independent Bar & Kitchen in the heart of Deep Ellum)!

This month, Mad Swirl Press will be officially launching our annual anthology, “The Best of Mad Swirl : v2018”

This full-color, 112-page collection is…

“…an anthology featuring 52 poets, 12 short fiction writers, and 4 artists whose works were presented on www.madswirl.com throughout 2018. Its editors reviewed the entire year’s output to ensure this collection is truly “the best of Mad Swirl.” The works represent diverse voices and vantages which speak to all aspects of this crazy swirl we call “life on earth.” Mad Swirl is a world-renowned arts and literature website. It is a platform, a showcase, and a stage for artistic expression in this mad, mad world of ours; a creative collective of as many poets, artists, and writers we can gather from around the world; from Nepal to Ireland, from England to China, from California to New York City and all the places in between. Our Poetry Forum features works from over 150 contributing poets, our Short Story Library has 140 writers and our Mad Gallery has 40 resident artists. This anthology is a great introduction to the world of Mad Swirl!”

To get this official launch kicked-off, we will be featuring these local & remote Contributing Poets & Writers:

Johnny Olson
Polly Richardson (Ireland)
Rob “David” Dyer
Madelyn Olson (Austin)
Harry Mcnabb
Chigger Matthew (Missouri)
Tyler Malone (Colorado)
Mike Fiorito (NYC)

…and more? We shall see!

If that teased ya the way it should have, then come and join in on this launchin’ & get you a copy for the most excellent price of $20!

Mad musical grooves from Chris Curiel’s Swirve, with special guest Monte Espina, will start us off. After that, join in & share in the Mad Swirl’n open mic festivities.

Come to be a part of this collective creative love child we affectionately call Mad Swirl Open Mic.

Come to participate.

Come to appreciate.

Come to Swirl-a-brate!

For you ‘bookers out there, check out our Facebook event page and get yourself a spot on our pre-list!

••• Mad Swirl Press •••

Coming 05.01.19: The Best of Mad Swirl : v2018!

Our 112 page anthology will feature 52 poets, 12 short fiction writers, and four artists whose works were presented on MadSwirl.com throughout 2018. We editors reviewed the entire year’s output to ensure this collection is truly “the best of Mad Swirl.” The works represent diverse voices and vantages which speak to all aspects of this crazy swirl we call “life on earth.”

And just in case you’re not quite sure what and/or who Mad Swirl is…

“Mad Swirl is a world-renowned arts and literature website. It is a platform, a showcase, and a stage for artistic expression in this mad, mad world of ours; a creative collective of as many poets, artists, and writers we can gather from around the world; from Nepal to Ireland, from England to China, from California to New York City and all the places in between. Our Poetry Forum features works from over 150 contributing poets, our short story library has over 140 writers and our Mad Gallery has over 40 resident artists.”

This anthology is a great introduction to the world of Mad Swirl! Stay tuned to our social media channels and our website for more official teases!…

•••

Black Sparrow Dress Up

Shell freshly fractured. Soaking wet, chick wobble, cheep cheep cheep, every sparrow starts naked and bewildered. So does this collection. Then page by year by life experience; pinions form, feathers fluff to cover and warm. Wobble turns to wonder, storms weathered. Nest explored as erstwhile shelter, soon to prison turned. Then flight – sweet flight, skyward flutter, windward soar, new lands; new life, evolved from old. Sparrow flies free. – mh clay

This is Black Sparrow Dress by Opalina Salas. Get it. Read it. Fly…

Mad Swirl Press is very honored to be the publishing home for Opalina’s poetic collection. This 80-page beauty is filled with 20+ years of her powerful poetry and complimented quite nicely with a handful of full-color mind-bending illustrations by artist Madelyn Olson.

Black Sparrow Dress is available at Amazon.com (for you long-distance mad ones) for $20.

•••••••

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…

Keepin’ it Mad,

Johnny O
Chief Editor

MH Clay
Poetry Editor

Ty Malone
Short Story Editor

Madelyn Olson
Visual Editor

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