The Best of Mad Swirl : 06.27.15

by June 27, 2015 2 comments

••• The Mad Gallery •••

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

“Poetry is a matter of life, not just a matter of language.” ~ Lucille Clifton

••• The Poetry Forum •••

This last week in Mad Swirl’s Poetry Forumwe regaled a walrus blue reflection, sedated by a calm injection; we paused to pine o’er a heart-spattered shine; we mourned our fly-found lost-love buzz, now bound by balled socks, silent; we loved a life, recounted on page, with avalanche jams, uncounted by age; we peered through a blur of snowfall, pure by default; we lived a day unsparkable, neither niggling nor remarkable; we found profound truth, wearing a Double-D. All sizes, shapes and sounds; life profound, lived profoundly. ~ MH Clay

Universal Truths by Contributing Poet Donal Mahoney

When Bill was a lad
his parents preached that
Scripture was the truth.

Decades later now
Bill still believes that.
In college, though,

his professors told him
science was the truth.
Bill still believes that, too.

But there’s another truth
that Scripture and science
never clarified for Bill.

At age 13 he saw it
scratched on a wall
in black graffiti

above a public urinal,
a universal truth he had
just begun to understand.

The message was
“Big tits are the greatest!”
a truth he still believes as well.

June 27, 2015

editors note: Yes! Intelligent Design; faith for the faithless. – mh clay

One Day by Bruce McRae

One day nothing remarkable occurred.
No rivers ran red or economies collapsed.
Not a single sparrow seemed out of place,
the sky still blatantly apparent,
some rather ordinary clouds banking in ranks,
the black-eyed mouse in its usual kitchen.

People prayed for a good harvest, naturally,
or for salvation, or for Jenny’s sore to heal –
as they had since time first began
its long slide towards oblivion.
Women still looked at their men and wondered
whatever had become of them,
entropy’s sleeve continuing to unravel.

And then one day even that didn’t happen.

June 26, 2015

editors note: The day when absolutely nothing happens; ’twill be a truly remarkable day. – mh clay

Snowflakes by Sylwia Borkowska

I look through the softly falling snowflakes
All I see is white cloudy blur

I try to see through it
But, it’s all the same,
White cloudy blur

The snowflakes with the growing falling speed
Begin to look gray
As they mix with the modern city living

But, all that I try to see
Looks pure anyhow…

June 25, 2015

editors note: Opacity begs acceptance at face value. Try to see through… – mh clay

MY LIFE by Contributing Poet B.Z. Niditch

Life is ageless
full of charades
whether played
on soprano sax
or jazz fiddle
drawing ink portraits
it’s a mind bender
in the middle
of the road
on back alleys
or city hallways
in front of jams
traffic or music,
against a mountain
of winter storms
or in an avalanche
of sunshine
by paper flying cranes.

June 24, 2015

editors note: His life, every life; ageless, lived best in all ways. Thanks, BZ! – mh clay

Travel Plans by Contributing Poet Ryan Quinn Flanagan

Fly in the suitcase, why have you died on me?
We still had many good hours together
pestering one another, but secretly in love
me with a rolled newspaper, you playing hard to get
the ceiling fan spider oscillating third wheel jealous…
fly in the suitcase, did I forget to pack oxygen?
my scatterbrains spilling out over my shoulder onto my shirt
so yours do not have to
the hydro company now buzzing
for you
out along the high wire
fly in my suitcase, let me ball up
my socks beside you
let customs ask their many inane questions, my friend,

no need to

June 23, 2015

editors note: The best plan; preserve your true love, packed, always present. Let those questions come… – mh clay

untitled by Contributing Poet Jesse Doughty

The heart should hang
from a high wire
in the elements
ready to slip
and fall
and burst
and trampled upon
even then
for some little mess
it leaves
on the bottoms
of strange

June 22, 2015

editors note: Love is a no-net, high-wire act; big miss, big mess. Noticed only by janitorial staff – maybe. – mh clay


Inject ‘calm’
through sedative drops
to my blue veins
shield wounded core
holding hard
to my fragile life

by the cough of life
bruises, caused
to lick those unspoken words

Night walrus
with tough wrinkled skin
along the long tusks
fought flippers whole of night
creepy and insane, till
the ‘day’,
broke me down:
Calm of space
and reigning clouds drifting around

Injecting calm
to the blue of sky,
the story which never gathered again!

June 21, 2015

editors note: Broken by denizen of deep? No story here… (goo, goo, gajoob) – mh clay

••• Short Stories •••

Need-a-Read? Well then you’ve come to the right place ‘cos we got just the read to feed your need!

Here is what Short Story Editor Tyler Malone had to say about this pick-of-the-week tale “Ten Minutes and One Second” from longtime Contributing Writer Jim Meirose: “Think about how you articulate what you really love and want, and know that language fails every time, all time. Day-to-day, our words fail and all we have left are our actions, our passions, and what we leave for the ants to eat. “

Here’s a couple minutes worth of “Ten Minutes and One Second”:

King’s Dominion, July 28, 2009, 5:50 PM.

Sharp beaver claws and teeth gnawing, grasping; broad flat tails slapping.

They walked along on the crowded hot blacktop.

What a day we have had here don’t you think?

Yes—I’m pooped.

Gnaw—gnaw the wood. Must have wood. Must have lots of wood. Find wood.

Look—a Fudge and Fun stand. Want to have some?

The sun beamed down from low over the buildings across the way.

Oh yes—we need some dessert—here—here let’s walk in the shade it’s hot.

Logs vertical across the stream spaced apart; logs and branches horizontal between the logs tight from the bottom to the top to stop the water. Mud. Slap on mud.

One smirking, one frowning, they went toward the Fudge and Fun stand through the sun between the gaps in the shadows.

Come on! Let’s hurry before the stand closes—

All right.

Slap mud on the dam more sticks more twigs more mud good and tight the slap of the tail the water rising. The water rises spreading out and deeper. A pond forms quickly. Deeper, wider. They watch. But must gather sticks; must gather sticks and branches and brush for what’s next.

Reaching the stand, they joined the long line standing in the sun.

This line moves so slow—I hope they don’t close.

I know. Me too.

The line moved forward and they stepped into shadow.…

Get the rest of the minutes right here!

••• Mad Swirl Open Mic •••

Join Mad Swirl at the NEW Absinthe Lounge this 1st Wednesday of July (aka July 1st) at 8:00 sharp, when we will swirl it up madly in the LIVE way that we do every month now for OVER 10 years! This month we are featuring the dynamic musical duo of John Kelley & Stefan Prigmore!

After our feature set we urge you stick around to get yourself a spot on our list… first come, first on the list! Which means… get there early!

Come one, come all! Mad poets, musicians, actors, singers, circus freaks & other miscellaneous loco locals… come-n-strut-yo-stuff. Come to participate. Come to appreciate. Come to be a part of this collective creative love child we affectionately call Mad Swirl.

Mad Love,
Googily-Eyed Guy

P.S. If you can’t be here LIVE, you can view the whole show via our Mad Swirl UStream Channel! Just click here at 8:00pm (CST) and watch the mic madness swirlin’ live.

P.P.S. AND, as you may or may not know, every 1st Wednesday we get all giddy with the swirlin’ madness. Here’s who we will be featuring next month:

August: PW Covington


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…

Livin’ It,

Johnny O
Chief Editor

MH Clay
Poetry Editor

Tyler Malone
Short Story Editor

Madelyn Olson
Visual Editor

Comments 2

  1. Chris Zimmerly

    Ok. I can’t seem to see anyone’s bio. I updated my bio with some exclamations to try to see it. I will write a proper one soon. Maybe I am just not looking in the right spot. I did post a commentary for the Vietnam poem. So that is a great success. Let’s help me figure thus out. Thanks and cheers

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