The Best of Mad Swirl : 07.11.15

by on July 11, 2015 :: 2 comments

“almost exquisite, the slight madness” ~ James Tate

••• The Mad Gallery •••

“Battle Fatigue” (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 found bird kill to be no thrill; we meted love from mattered metaphor; we wound romance ’round a whiskey glow, why it was you, we’ll never know; we thought Summer, thick sighs, ants on thighs; we made from broken night, lives to stand in morning light; we upended the origin of original sin; we followed the flow of creative course, to Alpha, to Eternal River’s source. Common source, common destination; commonality. ~ MH Clay

Solitary river by Hem Raj Bastola

Aesthetic hallucination
One mad station
For creation

Have I
Understood of life
Looking for the rooms
Adventure to the unknown
Beyond the horizon
My eyes are

That cloud
Of a void sky
Loitering free
Shapeless mind
Thinking and thinking
Never become

In the air
On the ground I walk
Experimenting with mystery
Collecting the fossils
From a solitary

July 11, 2015

editors note: A 21st Century Siddhartha, living his path aloud; isolation, experimentation, aesthetic hallucination. (Another from Hem Raj on his page, post-earthquake in Nepal – check it out!) – mh clay

Fish on Friday by Abigail Wyatt

Fish on Fridays is ok, I suppose:
for most of us it’s no more than a relic
from a time long before;
like cold cuts on a Monday
from the family joint
that used to be
the week’s big event:
a nice piece of topside
or a leg of spring lamb –
there being far too much
fat on the breast –
served up with mint sauce
made from mint fresh
from the garden,
chopped up with vinegar
and sugar to taste.

Not roast pork, of course:
though some of us do like it,
many see the pig as unclean;
a scavenging creature –
as, indeed, are shellfish –
and injurious to our
spirit and our health;
and some say no beef,
because the cow is sacred;
some, no alcohol,
and some no tea or coffee;
caffeine, being highly addictive,
tends to undermine,
apparently, our physical
and spiritual health.

All religions considered,
it’s a bit of a mine field,
especially having people to dinner:
after all, you can’t always tell these days
what a person’s beliefs might be.
It’s a good thing, though,
that they have sorted one thing out;
as a wife, it puts my mind
at rest to know it.
It’s the kind of thing that can
make you anxious
and keep you from your sleep.
Now I don’t have to worry
that my husband will go hungry
because, if he’s ever
facing starvation,
now there’s a fatwa
that says it’s ok
to go right ahead
and make a meal
of me.

Except that now they say
this is a ‘only a joke’;
or, worse, that it is
‘only propaganda’;
so that now I am attacked
for mocking those
who sharpen their knives
and polish their forks
ready to plunge them into me;
but, whichever way you cut it,
the unpalatable truth is this:
that the gods don’t seem
to care much for us women.

So, guys, if you –
and your gods –
want to win my respect
stop raping and stoning my sisters;
stop paying me less
and then making me pay
a dozen different ways every day.
Stop selling my daughters,
stop calling me names
and making me ashamed
of my bright body;
and stop spinning those lies
about ‘wickedness’ and ‘sin’
and how it all originates
with me.

July 10, 2015

editors note: Nothing fishy here! An appeal for equality on all fronts. Listening, Gents? – mh clay

DAWN by Tom Montag

and morning’s silence.
From the other

side of night, when
you cross over, if

you can, if you don’t
let go, you, too, may

bring them back, these
broken things from which

we make our lives.

July 9, 2015

editors note: Gathered in a torn satchel, we salvage what we can for morning; building bright futures. – mh clay

Raisin in the Morning by Taylor Gall

You’re a
little raisin
baking on my back
smiling in the
chilly March
sun, but
dreaming about
July will
smell like flowers
and be thick with
in July we will
stay up late.
We will drink
beers on a front lawn and
be raisins together,
the ants
on our thighs

July 8, 2015

editors note: A love prophecy; made in Spring, fulfilled in Summer. Hand us a beer and damn the ants. – mh clay

It was you by Peggy Flora

at the hour of midnight
on whiskey covered floors
with bar stools and noise
through the back door
a leather scented wind
sitting upon the motor
the vision became

a smile and glow
of red and yellow
a faint resemblance
of a colored road
marked by needs
only seen in the heat
of a long kept secret
to feel the breeze

weakened by the knees
in black night rumblings
Letters and numerals
Crept around truths
Of more meaning
But for an evening
It was you

July 7, 2015

editors note: In the questionable night, answers arrive unsolicited. It was you. – mh clay


(“This is the second of our reign.”)

What flew through the air today was sight not sound,
Although the trees swayed anyhow,
Stunned. Light broke through these dull
Clouds late, as if even the air around us
Had had enough of brooding, scowling skies,

Skies with no light or hope. And my wife
Out there for a walk as a metaphor for
All this, unplanned and unasked. For my
Long week she will find an excuse to treat
Me like I could be the only thing that

Matters, this instant and forever. On the most
Mundane Monday she finds ways to
Bring small lights and grace notes to a
Life otherwise contingent—deals on the phone
With those not in my control.

Not all compacts endure. But this one
Does, its essence an ionic bond,
And I can’t wait till you come back,
Though it has been mere minutes.
My soul pants after you, as the psalmist
Said. There could be no other analogy,

No other synecdoche, nothing on this
Earth has Rachel stand in for anything
Else. Even metaphor, Rachel as the
Sun, say, gets only so close. If there
Is the perfect word canvas, look at

A prayer wheel, set on fire with hope, where others see only
Dark; picture a murmuration of starlings
Where others see only shapes against
A late winter sky.

July 6, 2015

editors note: Here speaks love as love, not metaphor; sweet.! (In the light of recent Independence Day celebrations, a fine write on Brian’s page; words from any president, two and a half terms in – check it out!) – mh clay

APOLOGY by Mark Senkus

young boy with pellet gun
aiming at anything moving

a tree swallow fluttering near its
nest hole far up the birch tree

an innocent pulling of trigger
a dead-on kill
and then the swallow’s mate
out the nest hole and
shrieking her mourning
across the thinned air

flustered and uncertain
the boy carefully aims and
shoots again putting down
the mate

trudging home feeling life moving
backwards like lost footsteps
hoarding the shame of his
accumulated future all
at once.

July 5, 2015

editors note: Let regrets over triggers pulled influence future pointing of the gun. Peace, first! – mh clay

••• Short Stories •••

Need-a-Read? Good! We sure got a killer story for you!

Here is what Short Story Editor Tyler Malone had to say about this pick-of-the-week tale “The Bully, the Psychopath, Libby and Lorraine“ by Contributing Poet & Writer Donal Mahoney: “Some people are looking for love in all the wrong places–and those wrong places are people. People in shadows. People with stories. People with monsters living inside their brains. Monsters who only know the taste of blood on their tongue.”

Here’s a few slices to get the blood flowing:

photo by Tyler Malone

Fred was a bully who always bothered Lenny on the way to school. Fred was four years older than Lenny. One day Lenny told him that when he grew up he would kill him. Fred laughed and probably didn’t expect to see Lenny that night, twenty years later, when Lenny waited for him in the alley next to his garage.

As usual, Fred got home around midnight from his work on the second shift. When Fred got out of his car, Lenny said, “Hey Fred, remember little Lenny, the kid from grammar school.”

Fred said he didn’t remember Lenny and that’s when Lenny swung the machete his grandfather had brought home from the Pacific after World War II. Then he stood there and admired his work, smiled and watched Fred’s head roll a few feet like a bowling ball.

In the morning a milkman found the head and the body and the story was in the papers for weeks as people wanted to know who did it but Lenny couldn’t tell them. They wouldn’t understand that it was simply a matter of a bully paying the price for what he had done years earlier to Lenny…

Don’t leave the bloody scene without knowing how this tale ends! 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…

Bein’ More Than Slightly Mad,

Johnny O
Chief Editor

MH Clay
Poetry Editor

Tyler Malone
Short Story Editor

Madelyn Olson
Visual Editor

Comments 2

  1. Hem Raj Bastola

    Enjoyed staring a piece of art. Munching madness. Feeding breast. Crunched milk. Enjoyed reading other pieces too. Now i am heading to pasture. May be i can graze some goats or sheeps in lonliness. Till then enjoy your team there tossing the pints of whisky. Discussing a mad activity. Kuddos to you people.

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