The Best of Mad Swirl : 05.16.15

by May 16, 2015 0 comments

“Electric Love Plug In” (above) by featured artist Brett “BA” Ardoin. To see more Mad works from Brett, and our other contributing artists, please visit our Mad Gallery.

“I want a language that speaks the truth.” ~ Studs Terkel

••• The Poetry Forum •••

This last week in Mad Swirl’s Poetry Forumwe lapsed in the memory of musky sweet, singing springs, forget, forget…; we wafted a leaf-loosed, gentle sigh for tree and twig and life gone by; we swam in the slew of the primordial stew; we joyful, jabbered in crazy, crazy; we manned no art in cables, constructs conjoined with crows; we abided no oracle, no bawdy bard, silenced in his cups; we shed no tears over spilled wine, love abandoned, sweet memory, sad sweet memory. Recall, recount, resume, resume. – MH Clay

A Red Bordeaux

We met neath frost laden boughs
in the stealth of stolen moments
in the middle of December.
Your breath my breath
warm and urgent against our skin.
Our footsteps merged and melted
in virgin snow, our dance within
a speckled snow globe.
My red scarf slipped
leaving my shoulder bare
I shivered when you placed bold lips there.
Sun shifted and it was time to go,
Did we make promises, no.
you said you owed that to your wife.
Three decades have passed, to some
a lifetime, to others the time of their life.
Your name I’ve kept close and whisper
each new year in a silent toast.
The memory vibrant and even now
I see that yarn of red laying in virgin snow
an emblem of my life, a spilt red bordeaux.

Pd Lietz : May 16, 2015

editors note: A sorry loss for a stupid cuss. I’d be a wino for that bordeaux. – mh clay


I see a drunk out of his mind on life
Who thinks he’s the magician’s assistant
He gazes upon a beauty at the street corner
And decides to flaunt his thing
Hoping she’ll give him some free trade
He begins to entertain the street
The only problem being there ain’t anyone else around
He demonstrates his drunken dancing skills
Hoping for a freebie ’round the corner
The street walker hopes for some genuine business
As her baby lies sleeping at home
Her boyfriend probably still stoned
And she’s starting to get a craving
That won’t disappear until it’s vanquished
Embarrassed she turns but on he ploughs
Unaware of his failure, she prays he goes home
But round these ways prayers aren’t answered
Cos god ain’t listening no matter how loud you ask.

Bradford Middleton : May 15, 2015

editors note: Sometimes an imbecile assistant is exactly what a magician needs to see the truth. (Read another one from Bradford on his page; a satisfying conclusion to his missive from March 10th – check’em out!) – mh clay

Cables in the air

They stumble, they knot
Roughing up their plumage soft
Fate caught a few, some others duck
Like fizz appearing when corner greets
Staining a burn as they suddenly retreat
Sag they do with burden of guilt
Tethered they live with cuffs of steel
Moans culled whilst staring deep
As feathery friends of theirs collide
Oft they swing to a solace trivial
A murmur of peace in a life unfair
Nurtured in vain by men artless
Who foisted these cables
High up in their filthy air.

– Sudha Srivatsan : May 14, 2015

editors note: If our constructs could speak, they might tell us this. Listen closely… – mh clay


Feeling just a little bit crazy
that light-headed, delicious, walking on sand without sandals, crazy
that caught up in it, can’t get enough of it, samba, crazy
that never wanting it to end, Ipanema wave, crazy
cresting parabolas in the curve of the bay, crazy
sounding its movement on the one high note
insistent, rhythmical and time exact,
again and again
so you.

– Neil Leadbeater : May 13, 2015

editors note: Yes, let’s rejoice – re-Joyce. – mh clay

Sea Poem

A treasure of time – wide canvas of the sea
Where life was formed from silver gills and a snail‘s cry
And baptized by fleets of stars
Blazing across the sky
An ocean of time
With its relentless song
Carried by seabirds with seashell wings
Skimming across watery crescents
To follow northern lights to tomorrow
And come back to yesterday

Deep down blink ocean eyes
That saw Noah’s rainbow
Fall into the breathing bubbles of life
And saw jellyfish with opaque tails
And ethereal umbrellas
Sinking to nocturnal depths – And beyond
Where swim fish with sword teeth
In the deepest dark of Neptune’s children
Rolling about on the ocean floor
Amongst Atlantis bangles
And gold bars encrusted with algae

Silent, still, spectral, the ocean eyes
That see to the depths of white-ice sands
Where wooden maidens with water-logged breasts
Broken loose from a ship’s bow
To sink to the decades of a rusted anchor
Holding time to the ocean floor

Powerful oracle; fathomless ocean
Born after genesis
But before Vesuvius wore a crown of Sargasso pearls
In nets webbed across waters
Time was caught and carried
To scorched sands of other shores
Where the sun closes purple eyelids on twilight
To open them on melancholy nights

Susandale : May 12, 2015

editors note: Darwin told us life started from the sea. This poet tells us the sea started from poetry. Yes! – mh clay

Fallen Before The First Fall

A leaf
In its prime
In its shine
Shuddered and fell
Time couldn’t tell
Kissed the earth
A final goodbye
With a gentle sigh
Unheard.. unknown..
Silently gone

Amongst many that hold on
To the tree that stands tall
The first that fell before the fall…

– Sagorika Chakrabort : May 11, 2015

editors note: Lives of leaves, leavers of life; some hold, others… – mh clay


I’ve almost forgotten
how the crisp autumn air felt
when you pushed your fingers
in my hair,
the flat yellow eye of the sun
glaring through the windshield,
the musky scent of your perfectly
pressed trousers,
the high shine on your black shoes.
I’ve almost forgotten the rhythmic
squeak of rusty springs
at the shifting of weight, the sharp
intake of breath,
the sudden lapse of movement.
I’ve almost forgotten you.

Charlotte Hamrick : May 10, 2015

editors note: I can hear those springs a-squeakin’. No back seat voyeurs peakin’. (Another mad missive on Charlotte’s page – don’t skip it.) – mh clay

••• Short Stories •••

Need-a-Read? Well need no more because we got just the read to fit that need! And that read is “Apuleius” by Robin Wyatt Dunn!

Here is what Short Story Editor Tyler Malone had to say about this pick-of-the-week tale : “Most of us would be so lucky to be transformed into an ass and see the things an ass would see, say the things an ass would say, live the life an ass would live. The only trouble is finding someone who loves your ass.”

Here’s a lil bit to tease ya:

My best friend wears the head of an ass. It’s not an easy situation, but it’s one we can deal with. The head of the ass gives him access to the super-temporal realm, i.e., makes him a total nutball.

He is, without question, great at parties. People are sad here in the developed world these days, we’re whining about ideologies, and war, and all the other uglies. Not enough smoothies… we know it’s tough. But my friend, with that donkey head, he is the antidote. The pharmakon!

He is so funny. I just work at community college you know, an adjunct, which means I have a little free time but not much money, so I just invite people I like over to stand on our porch and drink cheap wine and shoot the proverb, cause what else we gonna do? I ask my friend Joe, “How’s business treating you?” and my pal with the ass’s head says to me and Joe: “I’d like to eat off your face!”

Get the rest of your read on right here!


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…

Speakin’ Truth,

Johnny O
Chief Editor

MH Clay
Poetry Editor

Tyler Malone
Short Story Editor

Madelyn Olson
Visual Editor

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