The Best of Mad Swirl : 07.04.15

by on July 4, 2015 :: 0 comments

“When I work, and in my art, I hold hands with God.” ~ Robert Mapplethorpe

••• The Mad Gallery •••

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

••• The Poetry Forum •••

This last week in Mad Swirl’s Poetry Forumwe bounced our brains off a blunt reality; we revisited the thing of a weekend fling; we flickered in flames of angel dreams; we popped corks and clowns and other things which begin with “I”; we suffered the angst of the average Joe, collateral casualty in the war of woe; we saw what the seer saw, a celestial switch; we slept the “sleep that knits up the raveled sleave of care”*. From smoke to Shakespeare; a wild weft we weave in the stirrings of the Swirl. ~ MH Clay

Sleep Madrigal by Harley White

Sleep’s the Great Healer—
Sleep’s the Revealer

of hidden meanings,
unbidden gleanings.

When sorrow aches us,
Sleep overtakes us—

stealing away grief,
like a welcome thief.

Night is the coverlet
for a longing lover— yet
it’s Sleep who delves

deep into our selves,
finding dusty dreams… on shadowy shelves.

When life’s a jailor,
Sleep’s the unveiler

of an inner key…
to set us free.

Sleep’s our best friend
at a hard day’s end—

weaver of fantasy… with reality,
make-believer of what could be…

Sleep’s the Great Healer… of you and me.

July 4, 2015

editors note: A compelling case for sleep – I vote “Yes for naps!” (Another fun pome from Harley on her page, about our mutual love of words – check it out!) – mh clay

Reflections by Rose Aiello Morales

Notice the non mirror image,
stripped backing, a window
and you are a tree, a bird singing,
a car goes by with the boom, Boom, BOOM,
you are an irate citizen writing letters to the mayor.

Fixer of stare back, black paint
and the picture changes, it is you,
but not, your mind knows who you are,
it is not this reversal of fortune, sag eyed
wrinkle in time, you wave and the beast waves in turn.

Smile, the flake from breakfast, she ate the same
in that other universe, does it come back to haunt
her in her old age? Or maybe she lives forever, through
the membrane and you try to step, she places her palm
against yours, sad smile, maybe a tear for what might be,

You both turn away.

July 3, 2015

editors note: Turn from one parallel universe; walk smack into another. – mh clay

Your average Muslim Joe and Mary by Arif Ahmad

Eradicated en masse by the Muslim fundamentalists for not being Muslim enough and siding with the West

Tried unilaterally in the media, embarrassed, condemned, regarded with suspicion, frisked at the airports, many having lost their lives and checked off as collateral damage by the warring West

Often misunderstood and taken out of context

Never for a conflict, we like it quiet and out of limelight

Not expecting anyone to bail us out or elevate our status

Some fault for all this surely lies with us

We are your average Muslim Joe and Mary, the single largest casualty, the silent tragedy of this war on terror

And it is for us to find a way out of this rut

To become a world-class scientist, a politician, an artist, an entrepreneur, a philosopher

Excel at living and never say never

July 2, 2015

editors note: A little perspective, right? A little empathy. A little tolerance… – mh clay

Poems that Begin with the Letter “I” by PW Covington

I am guilty
I am included
I am crybaby, lecherous, disability welfare, pot smoker
I am victim, attacker, liar and clown
I am a thief, a scoundrel
A saint
I am praying
A folly
A collection of myths in the morning twilight
False dawn
The cork out of an absinthe bottle
I am slum lord of this Texas imagination

All these poems that begin with the letter “I”

July 1, 2015

editors note: This poet’s Texas imagination puts the “I” in big, but everything is, in Texas. – mh clay


Yesterday we dreamed

Of our nights
Shaken by dread.

What escape
Is beyond
The flame

Of flesh
That licks
In crevices


Who can

June 30, 2015

editors note: Questions only angels are qualified to ask. – mh clay

A (major) re-visiting by Isobel Atacus

Last night I went to Lyon on a –
booking click and purpose of your trip?
alluded to some sort a form of work, unspecified
and rubbed things out

when all the while (I and others knew)
I’d gone to stew in sweat and smoke
and bodies reunited up up close

drinking, drink, inhale what’s this, and lifting items from the shelf,
ash dropping
everywhere the sheer exuberance
of foie gras
nonchalantly hid

amongst the cans of sweetcorn, found
we slathered over bread
then went to bed

held hands walking in the park
smoked on bench
and fought

before I left, satisfied, bereft perhaps, a little,

June 29, 2015

editors note: A weekend fling; patch up to break up to start full and leave empty (major). – mh clay

The Grape Cigar by Catfish McDaris

Mary ripped off the bandage, his brain
tumor was visible, the treatments had
made him worse, she made a blunt

From a grape cigar and some red bud
Columbian, Quick’s mouth watered in
anticipation, he told her to put on Tom

Petty singing about dancing the last time
with Mary Jane, he toked hard on the herb
he dreamed of the Louvre and Whistler’s

Mother getting out of her rocking chair
and walking like an Egyptian, the Thinker
bumping fists with him and La Gioconda
shedding blue purple crocodile tears.

June 28, 2015

editors note: A little smoke in the mirror of Alice’s reality. The Mona Lisa never looked better. – mh clay

••• Short Stories •••

Need-a-Read? Well then you’ve come to the right place ‘cos we got just what the mad doc ordered!

Here is what Short Story Editor Tyler Malone had to say about this pick-of-the-week tale “Waiting Room Madness“ Mark Antony Rossi: “Waiting, that’s the only game any of us are prepared to play. Really, though, someone, or something, is always playing us.”

Here’s a few lines while you await your turn…:

photo by Tyler Malone

You know the waiting as well as I do. You hate it too. The terrible waiting. The time you dread more than a five-foot needle stuck in your backside. You feel the rage. You work harder than hell for some decent medical insurance only to wait like a flea-bitten dog for a miserable bone.

Waiting in line to fill out a form. Waiting for a bubblegum-smacking bimbette to point out a pale plastic seat. The terrible waiting in a terrible waiting room. A color-coded monstrosity overflowing with wheezing zombies staring at flat-paint walls. Or burying their weird heads in magazines best lining Aunt Betty’s birdcage. The thought of sitting elbow to elbow in a room full of sick people makes me that much sicker.

Admit it! Any person forcing you to wait that long deserves a serious smack in the face. I want to smack him now before I get the bill. I want to smack him for his poor taste in decor. I want to yell and smack the SOB for his magazine selection alone. And I definitely want to smack this germ-carrying freak next to me coughing up Ebola in my direction.

Looking up at the so-called secretary with a tic-tac for a brain, you wonder how these people avoid illness wading through room after room of dancing bacteria. Does their low IQ afford them some special immunity? Does the death of ambition lead to life extension? If I had more time I’d look into this a bit further. Maybe it’s true: only the good die young…

The mad doc will see you now. Get the rest of your read on here!

••• Mad Swirl Open Mic •••

What a night it was in the land of Swirl’n mic Mad-ness this past 1st Wednesday (aka 07.01.15)! As Swirve started their jazzy madness, the crowd found their way into and filled the VIP lounge with their heads boppin’ and their fingers snappin’. As the last notes were fading away, hosts Johnny O & MH Clay introduced our feature act, the musical dynamic duo of Stefan Prigmore & John Kelley. The folk-country tunes they chose to play carried us away! If you were there, you know what we mean. If not, well… your loss. You snooze…

After a brief intermission, the mic got opened up to the mad ones who filled the Lounge and what a night of the beat-utifullest poetry and music ensued! Here’s a shout out to all who graced us with their words, their songs, their divine madnesses…

(In case you missed this Mad action, here is the picture show, (thanks to Dan “the man” Rodriguez) of who was who…)

Johnny O
MH Clay

John Kelley & Stefan Prigmore

Mad Cast:
Beat the Poet
Carlos Salas
Kristine Jessup
Roderick Richardson
Opalina Salas
David Crandall
Laurie Lynn Lindemeier
Chris Zimmerly
Paul Konieki
Zach Shrotter
Logen Cure
Cj Critt

HUGE thanks to Swirve (Chris Curiel, Tamitha Curiel, & Gerard Bendiks) for keeping the beat til the wee hours of the night. We got taken to another dimension of time and space on the wings of their jazzy madness!

And as always, big THANKS to the patron saint of the loco local mad ones, Kevin, owner of Absinthe Lounge, who has given 124 reasons to give him all the mad props and love that we do!

We look forward to ALL the m-adventures to come! Stay tuned for…

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…

Doin’ Holy Work,

Johnny O
Chief Editor

MH Clay
Poetry Editor

Tyler Malone
Short Story Editor

Madelyn Olson
Visual Editor

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