“Perhaps the mission of an artist is to interpret beauty to people – the beauty within themselves.”
••• The Mad Gallery •••
Ecstasy ~ Nawwar Morelli
To see all of Nawwar’s mind bending works, as well as our other featured artists (47 in all!), visit Mad Swirl’s Mad Gallery!
••• The Poetry Forum •••
This last week in Mad Swirl’s Poetry Forum… we struck a light for a flash of life; we questioned the worth of a digital birth; we lost our breath in an on-line death; we pulled tranquility from cacophony; we made words abound from sound on sound; we broke with a mistress o’er a lumpy mattress; we found no quiet place to go, trapped by a general rooster’s crow. Cock-a-doodle-doo! ~ MH Clay
the confederate general of osage county by Jason Baldinger
I breathe the breeze
from the wings of a fly
as sun cracks eyelids
hangover looks for a corner
and the same fucking rooster crows
this son of a bitch
the confederate general
of osage county, crows
every morning at the exact
time of stonewall jackson’s
death, this son of a bitch
rooster believes in reincarnation
let us cross over the river
gather in the shade of the trees
let’s roll out the trashcans
wait for the meth labs
of the gasconade to open
the ozarks will stand
then fall like appalachia
this son of a bitch keeps crowing
this rooster expects
lemons from your pocket
if you don’t then motherfucker
you better at least straighten
up, stand at attention and salute
February 1, 2020
editors note: An historian with something to crow about. Wakey! Wakey! – mh clay
A GOOD IDEA AT THE TIME by John Grey
The breakup may have begun with
that couch we bought at the Goodwill store
and hauled back,
strapped to the roof of the V W,
to our rented rooms in a roach-hotel.
The springs poked through the fabric
which stunk nastily of mold
and it was too big for the tiny parlor.
took up half the doorway into the kitchen.
Having to squirm and constantly shift
while we sat together watching television didn’t help.
If comfort was no more than chimera
then what about our relationship?
At least that torture implement
went with the lumpy mattress
and the mismatched kitchen chairs
and a refrigerator
that hummed like monks chanting for the dead
and heat-pipes as cantankerous as your mother.
But instead of laughing off poverty’s absurdities,
our feelings took on the tenor
of Goodwill and coils digging
into the butt and lumps
and furniture at odds with its setting
and your mother – that was the last straw –
a strange thing for me to say
when you consider the stuffing in that unholy couch.
January 31, 2020
editors note: Person, Place, or Thing; which does damage most? Thanks, Mom! – mh clay
Word Sounding by Harley White
The sounds of words can shake the skies
or cut an ego down to size,
when knowing sages have their say
of fitting words to seize the day,
conveying wisdom from the wise.
An avid versifier tries
through orphic craft to harmonize
with sense and lyric overlay
the sounds of words.
From inner cosmos may arise
the wordless visions word defies
that seek to find a worded way
with synesthetic interplay,
and thus in poem crystallize
the sounds of words.
January 30, 2020
editors note: Our sound obsession… – mh clay
Soundscape by Debarshi Mitra
The radio melodies
from vehicles stuck in traffic jams.
The aluminium bowls of beggars
The ceaseless honking and
Motor engines sputtering to life.
Footsteps and metal doors.
Glass colliding and shattering.
Words spoken, written, imagined.
Hammers on nails, cranes lifting.
Message alerts on cellphones,
utensils falling to the floor.
The gentle rustle of a leaf
The neighbourhood dog barking.
Someone next door rearranging furniture.
The cold monotony of an electrocardiogram.
Some mourning the dead.
Some rejoicing at a child’s birth.
At dawn the dust
being swept off the streets.
January 29, 2020
editors note: Here, hear! (We welcome Debarshi to our crazy congress of Contributing Poets with this submission. Read more of his madness on his new page – check it out.) – mh clay
My Cyborg Self by Robert L. Martin
My intellectual me,
my boosted ego,
my acceptance among
my relevant voice,
my manufactured intelligence,
my shortcut to wisdom,
my dexterous fingers that push
the right buttons,
my knowledge of their functions,
the new me that grew out of my self,
the mechanical man that surfaced,
that left his heart on the way,
that made discoveries from
pushing the right buttons,
bypassing the love of finding things
as they reveal themselves
before my eyes and sink into my heart,
the joy of a new revelation,
an accumulated wisdom
that clings to my understanding
and enters my silent depth,
the treasure chest in my soul,
my intelligence that breathes;
for I know that they
will never abandon me.
My cyborg self, the new me,
made of plastic and intelligence
with a mechanical brain
and metal heart,
who lost his passion for learning,
who relies on technology to breathe,
look at my new world
with an empty heart,
who knows how high
the highest mountain is, but not
the path leading to the summit.
January 28, 2020
editors note: A self; ever on sale, just for you, by Really Big Co. Buy now! – mh clay
The alien is in the chip by Gregg Dotoli
I don’t want to be around when Artificial Intelligence slips on the ice,
that won’t be human’s shining achievement
but a puzzling first contact
With a bizarre birth
machine orchestras spawn
curvy cold notes
strange new laws
omit all our flaws
the alien is in the chip
the alien is in the chip
the alien is in the mirror
the alien is in the mirror
January 27, 2020
editors note: When 1s and 0s lead our ones to zero, pull the plug. Now! – mh clay
The Real Secret by Paul Sexton
Life is nothing
but the striking
of a match
in the darkness.
with the flame
doesn’t make it
any more than it is.
It’s just a little fire
Which can be beautiful
but it’s still only a
from the dark.
fall in love with,
unless you’re crazy.
But I’ve been
January 26, 2020
editors note: Yes, we have! Pardon me, do you have a light? – mh clay
••• Short Stories •••
Here’s what Short Story Editor Tyler Malone has to say about this shitty story:
Some shitty stories are worth sharing with everyone. Bosses, enemies, lovers, what you’ve assembled and offered to the universe should be celebrated.
(photo “Tall Tales in Small Towns” by Tyler Malone)
This story isn’t as shitty as it might sound. We think you should cop a squat, relax, click here & let this “Record Turd” run thru you.
Mad Swirl’s mid-week Need-a-Read comes to us from Contributing Writer, Carl Perrin.
Carl’s story, “The Resurrection Club“ is a blend of a love story & sci-fi that just might bring a tear to your eye.
Here’s what Short Story Editor Tyler Malone has to say about this one:
Living is hard to call living for too many who are living. It’s a long life (maybe) with a long list of things to be happy that were temporary or forgotten. Live the days you have, be happy that the worst parts aren’t permanent.
Here’s a few lines to get you started:
(photo “Living Labor” by Tyler Malone)
My limbs move with an awkward, reflexive motion. I speak in a mechanical, colorless tone. My body is composed primarily of plastic and stainless steel. Most people assume that I am a robot. They are wrong.
I am an electronic person. I once was a live human being. Toward the end of my life, an electronic copy of my brain was used. When I passed, the copy of my brain was put into the robotic body that you see before you. It seemed like a glorious idea. My brain, the essence of me would be able to live forever.
As it turns out, living forever isn’t such a good idea after all. If I count the years since I was born as a human being, I am 137 years old. A lot can happen in that much time. For one thing, all my friends are long gone. When you move around in a robotic body, it’s hard to make new friends. Not many people want to socialize with what they see as a robot. So many things have changed in the way society is that it’s hard to keep up. I don’t watch television anymore because I don’t understand most of the stuff that is going on.
I have made one friend, though, Myra. Like me, she is an electronic person. She’s even older than I am. Unlike me, she is still working. She’s a dish washer at the Tip Top Club. Like many electronic people, before she passed over, she assumed that she would have no financial problems. She had Social Security and a nice pension. However, once she passed, the government and the pension fund both declared her dead and no longer eligible for those funds. Fortunately, we electronic people don’t have a lot of needs. We don’t eat or drink. We just need a source of electricity to charge up our batteries…
Rise up & get the rest right here!
••• Open Mic •••
We’re back & ready to show 2020 wha’s up!
Join Mad Swirl Open Mic THIS 1st Wednesday of February (aka 02.05.20) at 8:00 SHARP as we swirl it up at once again at Top Ten Records! (if you’re a FB’er, RSVP on our event page)
To kick things off, Swirve (Chris Curiel on trumpet, Tamitha Curiel vocals) will start us off with some Mad musical grooves. After that, hosts Johnny O & MH Clay will invite all y’all to join in & share in the Mad Swirl’n festivities.
Come to participate.
Come to appreciate.
Come to Swirl-abrate!
Come be a part of this collective creative love child we affectionately call Mad Swirl Open Mic.
Top Ten Records is located at 338 W Jefferson Blvd, Dallas, TX 75208
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