The Best of Mad Swirl : 06.20.15

by on June 20, 2015 :: 2 comments

“Impulse” (above) by featured artist Paula “Pd” Lietz. To see more Mad works from Pd, and our other contributing artists, please visit our Mad Gallery.

“That’s one of the great things about poetry; one realises that one does one’s little turn – that you’re just part of the great crop, as it were.” ~ Paul Muldoon

••• The Mad Gallery •••

Mad Swirl is proud to bring back longtime Contributing Poet & Artist, Paula “Pd” Lietz. Pd isn’t a newcomer to our Mad Gallery (3x now), but she certainly keeps us excited each time we get to sneak a peek! This time around, we sense a loose theme – lots of wings & allusions to nature & trees. But like usual, Lietz’ anything but usual works is mysterious (a windshield with bullet holes… how? why?), and although presented through an array of mediums, we still catch a breath of the same chilling energy. Pd’s work really has a way of shaking you slightly – and yet it somehow leaves you wanting more. Check it out for yourself and see what kinds of questions arise for you… ~ Madelyn Olson

••• The Poetry Forum •••

This last week in Mad Swirl’s Poetry Forumwe rhymed sublime, survived to strive; we bridged the gaps, transcended loneliness with exclamation; we raved in rants for the (old folk’s) right to dance; we jumped into the Hole of an ocean of soul; we lay languid and lazy, being honest and crazy; we swallowed the pills, jumped the abyss, calmed our ills to reach mental bliss. Better living through poetry! ~ MH Clay

Side-Effects: A Sonnet by Tom Hall

When the psychiatric Chorus yearns to learn,
The answers to questions for mind pain, so far,
Well intentioned treatments are slowly adjourned,
When probability falls within the bell jar.

Never so uncertain as when dispensing pills,
And conjured up cures come in percents.
That the tiny tablets we swallow when ill,
Reveal side-effective supplements.

Know the sum of these might irritate,
as they spark to soothe the troubled mind.
Regurgitating, hallucinating, even organs mutilate,
Trembling hands and eyes caught in the blinds.

So ask for help – step in the abyss.
Cause you never know what you might miss

June 20, 2015

editors note: Beneath the bell or in the blinds, observation imposes control. Step out and step in! (We welcome Tom to our crazy confab of Contributing Poets with this submission. Read more of Tom’s madness on his new page – check it out!) – mh clay

A Little Crazy by Kathy Lohrum Cotton

in those days
on the psych ward
where everyone was
a little crazy
she was happy, she says

it was the pure honesty of it
everyone easy about
being off-center
a relief to be herself

now, on the wide outside
of locked windows and doors
she says she doesn’t know
who to be
in this other world
where everyone works
so hard to hide
being a little crazy.

June 19, 2015

editors note: Okay to be off-center in the heart o’ the Swirl. Here, all are welcome; crazy boy and (this) crazy girl. – mh clay

MY SOUL by Chiranjibi Niroula

My soul would be a rock,
It wouldn’t give me a throbbing pain,
And I wouldn’t shed tears,
As the mother who lost her warrior son in a snare,
It wouldn’t feel the reflective ache of raped girl,
Nor it would get the twinge of bereaved persons
Who lost their kith in the war!

My eyes would be sightless,
I wouldn’t see the injustice,
I wouldn’t see the torture of the weak,
Nor I would glare at the imbalance of power of people,
I think I would feel the sameness,
In the stride of my voyage,

My ears would be deaf,
I wouldn’t hear the story of pain,
Nor I would be listening to explosions
On women and children,

My soul would be white snow.
I would be a glacier
and stay at the peak tops,
Where explorers would make an account of greatness,
I would be cleansing the filth,
From the acme to the chasm,
The world would be anew
with unique hotness and coldness.

My soul would be an ocean,
I would play with the Blue Whale,
I would bring a different Tsunami,
I would take off the prejudice under me,
That never would come up again!

My ear would be the Black Hole,
I would have all the dirty games assassinated.
The world would be an Eden,
Let my soul be the Black Hole,
Let my soul be an ocean!

June 17, 2015

editors note: Yes! Rock my soul in this bosom; bring a new “hotness and coldness” to this world. – mh clay

White Hairs Dance the Zambra by KJ Hannah Greenberg

Who might have thought that white hairs,
With thinning scalps, could prove old crowns more precious
Than downy, babies’ heads?

Why would wrinkled rapscallions dare thump castanets,
Or dance Fandango, Siguiriyas, Son Jarocho, maybe Zambra,
Instead of sipping soda on the sideline?

Where in the world would faded recollections,
Along with tarnished memories, vibrate like mighty throstles
Among crab apple blossoms?

What’s wrong when our populous lets lock-
Downs be governed by pejoratives, by rigid pigeon-holes,
Perhaps also stupid typecasts?

June 16, 2015

editors note: Heads up, Young’uns! Sit this’n out and let some senior Swirlers show you a thing or two. – mh clay

Loneliness by Bhargab Chatterjee

Luminous cantilever bridge connects
Between the two edges of night.
How does light travel faster than me
When she is a wintry night?

The broken fossil stone
Nakedly shows the impression
That resembles a Brahmi script on a stupa.
Moths of darkness
Incongruously flock around me
And groan like chanting Pali hymns.

On the other side of luminosity
Forgotten foot-steps rock.
Heavy moments fall
From the dilapidated wall
Like tired voices over my phone.

Packs of handshakes,
Skinny smiles,
Profound stammers,
Robust whims,
Sticky glances

Perniciously define me on a podium.

Now I play an important role. I have to teach people with illustrations on
How to stand on a podium balancing on the two feet – light and darkness.

Two entities
Are two schools of architecture
That integrate.

Energy and mass remain constant
In the roadside car-park.

Migratory waits,
Since early Stone Age
Blow horn
When we meet in her neighborhood’s café.

At the coffee table
Every “!”
Proves the limit of our freedom.

June 15, 2015

editors note: More “!”, more freedom. No limits! – mh clay

REDEMPTION by Thomas L. Holderfield

I was cast out upon a gray whale-dotted sea
amidst rolling waves from a storm-wrought breeze.
Upon a floating piece of ship’s debris I did seize
and paddled my way toward a green isle of trees.

Upon the sandy shore I made my tired way
and thanked God for giving me another day.
I would survive this trial; I’d find a way!
And when I was found I’d know what to say.

Thank you, Lord, for letting me survive
and not only that but actually to thrive!
The mere fact that I am still somehow alive
is reason enough to do my best and strive…

Strive to be a better man, a better lover
and not to seek excuses and run for cover.
Always around my wife and child will I hover.
Who knows what together we may discover?

June 14, 2015

editors note: Thank your lord or fate or chance. Make life and love from happenstance. – mh clay

••• Short Stories •••

Need-a-Read? Good! We got just the tune for ya’!

Here is what Short Story Editor Tyler Malone had to say about this pick-of-the-week tale “THE WEDDING SINGER” from longtime Contributing Writer Carl Kavadlo: “What to do when you live a life deep in madness? Well, you profit, of course.”

Here’s a few notes to get the tune stuck in your gourd:

photo by Tyler Malone

Frankie Mann operated a small, Brooklyn music office. He often hired a junkie sax player named Freddie. Frankie’s father, Mambo, was a gangster down in Florida. He financed Frankie as a front. He also used a fat singer named Peter Vallone, who told jokes, usually with an Italian accent.

Now Doctor Frankel stared kindly at Brown. Frankel sat erect in his chair. The speaker went on. “It’s their wedding night. They”re in the mother”s house in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn. The guy has four toes missing on his left foot. The bride, who he sometimes calls Maria, sometimes calls Josephina, comes running into her mother’s room. The old man had died a year ago and supposedly they never slept together, the bride and groom; and they never even disrobed. Maria shouts, “Mama, Mama. Ah Gino! He’s got a foot and a half.” The mother says, “Ah, you wait here, baby, and I go in and I talk to him!” And right at the punch line, when I”m about to strike the bass drum to accent the humor, this drunken guitar player Carmelo Lugo, half Italian, half Puerto Rican, the worst mixture of those two hot blooded races, kicks a hole in my bass drum, God Damn it, and says, “Mother fucker, you missed a cue on an earlier Jobim bossa nova and screwed up my solo!” Ironically, the song was called So Nice.”

Doctor Frankel continued to look kindly…

Can’t just stop there, could ya? Well don’t miss another beat, get the rest of your read on 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…


Johnny O
Chief Editor

MH Clay
Poetry Editor

Tyler Malone
Short Story Editor

Madelyn Olson
Visual Editor

Comments 2

  1. Harley White

    I felt right at home amidst the so-called madness here– from that great bullet-ridden windshield (so seemingly symbolic), right on through the provocative poems, always apt editor’s notes, and intriguing story with its on-the-mark image… nicely put together, in Mad Swirl’s unfailing fashion….

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