The Best of Mad Swirl : 07.18.15

by on July 18, 2015 :: 0 comments

(photo of Swirve’s Chris Curiel taken by Dan “The Photog Man” Rodriguez)

“You can play a shoestring if you’re sincere.” ~ John Coltrane

••• The Poetry Forum •••

This last week in Mad Swirl’s Poetry Forumwe got real (no shit, we did); we sang what we would, poorly poured if we could; we tried to pass on one who went on (and on and on); we pondered the profundity of purpose; we pondered more, near and far, rose and star; we counted the lines of a life account; we jumped into star-crossed bliss, engulfed in unknown mist. That’s what we hoped and why we jump – always jumping. Jump! ~ MH Clay

THE EDGE by Jeffrey Park

some might call him
or seeker,
peeping tom,
rattler at locks,
one who charges full tilt
to the end
of the earth,
and stretches
and slices his finger
on one of
Saturn’s razor-thin rings,
and allows his
own eccentric orbit
to carry him
and down
and into the mist.

July 18, 2015

editors note: Follow the explorer, seeker; peep and rattle. It’s the only way to know what lies beyond the mist… – mh clay

Sixteen Inspired Lines by Ralph Freda

It has taken me a lifetime to learn
that the Moon – in all its mystery – is simply itself
… and this is the hardest thing to learn

I know for certain, very few things, anymore…

I know for certain the Universe is an empty place,
and the love we provide gives it Meaning…

I know for certain the one I love is somewhere
out there, in this world –
I have been too long without her; and I fear I am insane…

I know for certain that the people who truly love me are fewer than the fingers I have on one hand;
and when they have gone, so too, will have I…

I shall not be left to survive,
beneath the ridiculous, mysterious, eternally condemned Moon…

July 17, 2015

editors note: Oh, Moon! Tell us the sound of one hand counting…? – mh clay

t​he too deep rose is infinite by James Barrett Rodehaver

​t​he rose is pushing inland.

i have long pondered the quiet rim of unbearable madness.
a coffee bean falls to the floor,
to be crushed but never used.

the delicate balancing act of twin unhappinesses,
lost love and hard life,
while making it all look like it glows, effortlessly.

one hole in the sock, where the toe pokes through,
trying to pull it back in your sleep.

the storm on paper, on viridescent screens,
that no one really knows, until the power goes out,
and all we can hear are thunder and sirens.

the faint cry to the earth of “mercy,”
after you realize you’re in a poor man’s deja vu.

the rose is etching itself upon our hands.
i have long pondered the stark truth of unbearable madness.
the revolving door of paychecks come and gone,
and the bills that take them.

the silence in the house of the lonely spinster,
and the cries that pierce the night like a gunshot in the distance.

that one spot in the middle of your back,
that you can never quite reach,
like a secret key to contentment.

a cart full of new groceries,
but the card says denied,
just as your stomach rumbles like a ghost.

lying on your back looking up at the night sky,
asking the universe if we are alone,
and the universe suddenly answers back “no,”
and suddenly you count the stars,
estimate the planets,
and begin to worry,
just barely able to sanely cope with one world,
so you reply back with, “well, why not?”

the rose folds itself into a star.

July 16, 2015

editors note: A rose is a rose is a reason to question everything. – mh clay

PURPOSE by Beate Sigriddaughter

What is the purpose
of a polar bear?


And that is my purpose
as well.

July 15, 2015

editors note: Yes, exactly! – mh clay

In Remembrance of Muzzles Past by Steven Minchin

We’ve passed on

unrestrained you go on
on without control
continually igniting out loud
like the Hindenburg inflated
with vocal accelerants
erupting on their own
you go on spewing
-a disaster without concern-
like the Hindenburg with verbs.

July 14, 2015

editors note: Rip it or zip it! – mh clay

If I could by Opalina Salas

If I could
Just hold on
To the tail ends sweeping
The talk
And mediocre
Could blind my eyes to your dissatisfaction
Close my ears to the silence
Break open windows in the airless room
Love the loveless
Sleep the forbidden dreams
In masks and riddles
And know your broad shoulders
Told no lies

Poor red
Pour red
In me
These violent things
I cannot sing

If I could
Intercept the gravity
That pulls my arms
And legs of scaffolds
Open wings
And claw marks
To questions
And tumble in your hair
That gives me pause

Poor red
Pour red
In me
These violent things
I cannot sing

If I could
Stub toes of journey
In the meandering night
And hear the music
Not aided by keys of smoke
But by your gentle sighs
Even so I long for the melodies
Unending in our love

Poor red
Pour red
In me
These violent things
I cannot sing

If I could just
Crack like sunshine
On the turning land
Burnish the fields
And plump the opiates
Of their moaning tendrils
Could blind my eyes to your dissatisfaction
Close my ears to the silence
Break open windows in the airless room
Love the loveless
Sleep the forbidden dreams
In masks and riddles
And know your soft lips
Told no lies

July 13, 2015

editors note: Oh, yes! If we could (a pour for the poor), we would… wouldn’t we? (Another mad missive from Opalina on her page; something for breakfast – check it out.) – mh clay

Speaking real type shit by James Brown

So many times an unforgiven breath
Carried the words, “you don’t do this,
You haven’t done that” truth, the real
Facts I done most of all that, took care
Of you type shit.
Speaking on weak shit, lying through
Your teeth type shit, keep that weeping
type shit, It was all good out on your
creep type shit, slick type shit.
Every time I lift my feet type shit you
get that meekness type shit and hide the
freak type outfit, I’m not weak like that I
just don’t indulge in that type bullshit fit.
Most of the time I just want to be left alone
Type shit and not hear that preaching type
Shit when you sin too type shit; now feel
Me on this real type shit.

July 12, 2015

editors note: Well, this is the real shit. No shit! – mh clay

••• Short Stories •••

Need-a-Read? Well then you really don’t want to miss out on “The Love of Fathers” by John Lewis

Here is what Short Story Editor Tyler Malone had to say about this pick-of-the-week tale: “Our greatest love is our greatest pain: ourselves. It doesn’t matter if it’s a man or a women, we make our suffering special, something we think the stars and god truly care about. “

Here’s a bit to get your need feedin’ goin’:

I woke early, shaved, taken a cold shower, then with a glass of fruit juice and some crackers, I occupied my favorite chair before the television. It was to be a twenty–overs cricket match, meaning excitement non-stop. The channel messaged that the match would be televised thirty minutes later because they were wishing a happy Father’s Day to all fathers. Also, the phone lines were opened for persons to call in and have their say about us fathers. I seized the opportunity to slice some cheese and tomatoes to go with the crackers, but all the while half my mind listened to the callers. Most of the callers spoke ill of fathers. I found my chewing accelerating as my anger increased. Even the female moderator joined in the verbal father-thrashing. Eventually, I dialed that call-in program:

“Good morning, my dear. Thank you so much for reminding us fathers that today is Father’s Day. Usually, on Mother’s day my wife receives a special breakfast in bed. Here I am, on Father’s Day, eating crackers with cheese and tomatoes—put together by yours truly. My wife is still in bed.”

“Be honest with yourself. Do you deserve better treatment?” the moderator challenged.

“Certainly! I have made that clear to my wife on several occasions when the pain from her hardheartedness got to me. I am now immune to her indifferent attitude towards my need for the occasional pampering. Note, miss, that our children never regard such abuse of daddy as neglect on their mother’s part, because she gets up each school day to prepare breakfast for the family. Somehow, dads are viewed as heartless law-givers, against whom the rest of the family must take a stand, as if we had used the women against their will and are consequently doomed by law to compensate and protect the injured parties. There’s also this expectation that fathers must devote all, even their time and attention, strictly to concerns deemed important by wives. For example, wives feel offended when politics and other serious matters engage some of their men’s attention, unconscious of the fact that their husbands stand on the front line, facing God and Government on their families’ behalf.”

“Okay, sir, you’ve…” the Moderator intercepted.

“Please do not interrupt me! I am speaking on behalf of all fathers…

Can’t stop feedin’ that read need right there, could ya? Then 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

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