The Best of Mad Swirl : 10.01.22

The Best of Mad Swirl : 10.01.22
"In the world of words, the imagination is one of the forces of nature." Wallace Stevens ••• The Mad Gallery ••• "The Ballon Man’s Dream" ~ Howie Good To see all of Howie’s madly mystical collages, as well as our other resident artists (50 and counting!) take a virtual stroll thru Mad Swirl’s Mad Gallery! ••• The Poetry Forum ••• This past[read more]

Mad Swirl Open Mic : 10.05.22

Mad Swirl Open Mic : 10.05.22
Join Mad Swirl this 1st Wednesday of October (aka 10.05.22) when we'll once again be doin' the open mic voodoo that we do do at our OC home, BARBARA'S PAVILLION and from our Mad Zoom Room (broadcasted via FB Live)! Starting at 7:30pm, join hosts Johnny O and MH Clay as we will kick off these[read more]

The Best of Mad Swirl : 09.24.22

The Best of Mad Swirl : 09.24.22
"What you've got to say, you say." Shel Silverstein ••• The Mad Gallery ••• "Experimental Physics" ~ Howie Good Mad Swirl is excited to welcome returning collage-artist Howie Good back to the gallery with some more of his surreal and inventive work. The way he builds his photos is magnificent and each piece seems to have a dark, mysterious and[read more]


You were never the winner nor the runner up, you were bronze.
You were the finalist child pianist prodigy (regional)
You were the County champion who gave it all up
You were the nearly took a Master’s degree
You were the face on the inside, not the cover of the NME
You were the one that could have had a doctorate
You were your mother’s only son except you weren’t
You were the flu that was only a cold
You were bronze.

You were gorgeous until they knew you better and laughed at you
You were charming until you were unmasked inevitably as a bore
You took out patents for the things we never even knew we needed
You followed the complicated recipe, but it never ever did taste good
You were the lover extreme you thought, but you were just needy
Your band was the romo-ist of the romos on the day that music changed
You were bronze.

You were yesterday’s man, the also-ran, the flash in the pan, the house built on sand
You were numbers one to eight on a ten-point plan
You were the poemless poet, the easily led, the gutless hero, the Procrastinator General.
You were not the Bradley Wiggins nor the pinnacle of perfection
And your bike ride revolutions will not be televised
You did like green eggs and ham and were not Sam I am
You were not a Jeepster for my love
Nor were you any type of victim when you dumped me
It was not some enchanted evening nor a tragic B-side tale from the beloved Smiths.
You were not ol’ blue eyes, Johnny Thunders, Albert Einstein, nor Garbo.
You were not writ large upon the firmament of fame.
You were bronze.

– Karen Withecomb

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i shouldn’t
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The phone-in on my radio this morning
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Who’s in Charge?   

Who’s in Charge?   

I picked up the phone and answered it. It was my boss, Bob Fischer. “Hi, Jack,” he said. “Can you come down to my office.” It was not a question. I was surprised and not a little irritated. Fischer knew I was working on the quarterly report and how important it was for me to work with minimal interruptions so I could concentrate on the report. I hope this is important, I said to myself as I walked to Fischer’s office. He had been looking out the window when I walked in. “Close the door and[read more]
Close Encounters of the Bukowski Kind

Close Encounters of the Bukowski Kind

I’d had two run-ins with the grump & they were far from pleasant. First encounter was at the premier of Tales of Ordinary Madness at a rundown movie house in a seedy hood at Melrose and Van Ness in the early 1980s. I had the nowhere cab gig at the time. (Stuck in it for years in order to buy time to write during the day.) Had paid to see the flick out of respect for the writer. I was there to support the scribe. Flick didn’t have to be[read more]
The Outbuilding

The Outbuilding

Maggie and I were relaxing on the couch watching television. Finally, I couldn't contain myself any longer and made a big point of clearing my throat as a prelude to what I felt I had to say. In response, she casually glanced at me. I took it as my chance. "You know, Mags,” I said, turning to face her. “I noticed you posted some old photos on Facebook today. I can't believe you put up that old building." "That cool outbuilding on my parent's farm? Why?" "Well, you know," I stammered. Now, for some[read more]