The Best of Mad Swirl : 08.01.15

by August 1, 2015 0 comments

••• The Mad Gallery •••

“The Death Mask of Friedrich Hölderlin” (above) by featured artist Bill Wolak. To see more Mad works from Bill, and our other contributing artists, please visit our Mad Gallery.

“We cannot live only for ourselves. A thousand fibers connect us with our fellow men.” ~ Herman Melville

••• The Poetry Forum •••

This last week in Mad Swirl’s Poetry Forumwe skirted sartorial sadness, vied with a verisimilitudinous valet; we suffered the lack (32 times) of a poetry app; we exposed the etymology of 3M, nemesis of this fine femme; we suffered a deficit, charitable cupids, enduring the hubris of government stupids; we flashed our fill of sexual frustration, our lackluster lust to a wow-less crowd; we saw a survivor, creative contriver; we opened eyes to demise and all that can arise, today. Today and ever; be now, be now. ~ MH Clay

Today by Steffen Horstmann

A helix of flames spiraled in your eyes today,
As a soothsayer spoke of your demise today.

Beneath Thracian tombs defiled by Romans
Djinns scour crypts seething with flies today.

Mystics decipher koans whispered
In zephyrs rife with lisps & sighs today.

Plumes of smoke are roiling above pyres
From where flocks of phoenixes rise today.

Clans of nomads are possessed by demons
Sages were dispatched to exorcise today.

Cassandra dreams of ships gliding on waves of fire-
An omen of war the sea’s repose belies today.

A wraith’s shrieks reverberate through caverns
In an echo the raving wind amplifies today.

The immense shadows of soaring wings melt
As condors are subsumed in the sunrise today.

The litanies of prophets are echoing in caves
As whirlwinds form in Elijah’s eyes today.

August 1, 2015

editors note: A lot’s happening today. Poets, pay attention. – mh clay

NOT LIKE THEM by Bradford Middleton

Getting here has been the hardest thing I’ve ever done
This life is not for the faint-hearted and I’m just glad to be sitting here writing this little poem
I remember all the obstacles that have been placed in my way
The days at school when the last thing on my mind was education
Back then it was all about survival and avoiding the bullies who wanted me dead
It all started so long ago now I can barely recollect
But I remember being made to walk up and down the classroom by an old teacher who wanted to cure me of my in-step
There was another time a kid I never really liked grabbed my pen and pad and threw it in the pond telling me that our kind shouldn’t be doing things like that
Secondary school wasn’t much better, the bullies were bigger and there were more of them
But somehow I survived, escaped intact by taking them on at their own game
Living so close to school I got all the training the one-hundred metres champion would need
Beating the bullies, even when they brought their bikes, home in a blur of limbs and will to survive
After school I naturally became a Goth thinking that was maybe the way to get people to ignore me
But that seemed unlikely in retrospect, a six-foot beanpole of a lad dressed head to toe in black
Just made it more obvious that I wasn’t like them and whilst now I may dress differently my spirit remains undiminished
Forever until the very end will I remain the one who is simply not like them.

July 31, 2015

editors note: To all of you with undiminished spirits – identify! – mh clay

National Day, 1 March 2015, The Republic of Abstinence. by Daniel Roy Connelly

In March, Sex is another route through your defences, as it hits from a point beneath your firewall
Capricorn, 2015

I am robed, heavy towelling, belt double knotted.
The gown stops just short of my Achilles.
Sex is already strafing on its belly on the balcony.
The radar fails to pick up the ground-to-air assault.
Sex can see all the way up to my presidential guts.
Sex sprays a whiff of Sex past my ankles.
The scanner fails to detect it.
Sex tickles the hairs on my quads.
Sex evanesces clean through my skin.
Balaclavad Sex Threads shoot spasms through my abdomen.
The stunned crowds below have started to laugh.
I must be pulling strange faces.
Perhaps my peaked cap is atilt.
I remembered to mute the microphone.
My skin is covered in unexploded goose-pimples.
Sex drones lower chains along my arms.
They have flown through my wall of fire, it is a massacre.
Sex raises me above the crowds to heaven’s sanctuaries.
Security is nowhere to be seen.

July 30, 2015

editors note: Here is proof; hallucinations come from lack of this. – mh clay

Mon Dieu by David Subacchi

Monsieur if it didn’t sell it went into bins
This is a business, we can’t give food away
Nobody would buy from us again
They’d just hang around outside
Waiting for stores to close
And for the hand outs
We are a country of revolutions
But that would be
Taking things too far

Madame we had to make sure
So we put bleach into the bins
To poison the unsold food
If we didn’t do this
These desperate people
Would steal from us
They would climb
Into the containers
To salvage the contents

Mon Dieu now the stupid government
Has made laws to prohibit all this
How easily they shame us
With their political rhetoric
Caring little for our profits
Worrying only about the votes
Of the weak and sentimental
Whose hunger we must now feed
Breeding our own destruction.

July 29, 2015

editors note: A voice from the foundation upon which others build the welfare state (We welcome David to our crazy confab of Contributing Poets with this submission. Read more of his madness on his new page – check it out.) – mh clay

Rehabilitation Required(?) by A.J. Huffman

men and machines.
My trichotomous needs.
I choke on associated

July 28, 2015

editors note: Rehab or resignation? Choice is debatable… – mh clay

32 Poems by Michael Estabrook

After two and a half years
mentored by a famous Beat poet
from the 50s and 60s
he finally produces a booklet of 32 clean
lean poems.

“The title poem – Bouncy House –
was inspired by your daughters”
he tells his son
and his son’s wife
as he hands them the booklet.

They say “Thanks, how nice”
as they put down their iPhones and leaf
through the pages for a minute
before picking up their iPhones again.
“That’s great” they added and that was that.

July 27, 2015

editors note: Isn’t there an app for this? – mh clay

Meeting by John McGinley

Today I had a meeting.
I opened my closet door and shouted in,
“What should I wear today?”
My closet replied, in its low baritone voice,
“What sort of meeting is it?”
This was a good question – it was for my adoption.
“It is for the position of son.”
After a few moments of thinking my closet said,
“That’s very odd. Are you not too old to be a son?”
Infuriated I screamed,
“Who are you to tell me what I am too old to be?”
My closet sighed and gave me a collared cotton shirt, overalls, sneakers with velcro
and a pasta stain.
“Begone potential son.”

July 26, 2015

editors note: If clothes make the man, can a closet make a son? Potentially, yes! – mh clay

••• Short Stories •••

Need-a-Read? Well then you’ve come to the right place ‘cos we got two tasty tales for ya’!

Here is what Short Story Editor Tyler Malone had to say about the first pick-of-the-week tale “Things I Remember” from Suvi Mahonen: “I’m clean, I swear! We all say that as we bathe in madness we love the most as we pray people want to touch us and praise our beautiful refuse. Sometimes, though, we catch a whiff of what waves off of us, and it’s too much to catch wind of again, ever.”

Here’s a bit to pique your reading’ eye:

(photo by Tyler Malone)

The weirdness finally wears off when there’s only five minutes remaining. It takes the dregs of my limited self control to stop myself from jumping off the nutter couch and pointing triumphantly at Laura and shouting ‘Ha!’

I don’t move. But my face must have. Because she pauses in the middle of her sentence.

“You wanted to say something?” she says, arching her eyebrow in the way that she does so that it disappears behind the thick black upper rim of her funky Gucci glasses.

I think quickly. “I was wondering what happened to your old pot plant?”

She glances over her shoulder at the empty space on her desk between the computer and the inbox tray where a tall, spiky, phallic-like cactus used to sit. She turns back. “It died,” she says simply.

I can tell she doesn’t believe me. I don’t care. I’m still pissed off she suggested Olanzapine “Just in case.”

I knew I shouldn’t have told her what had happened at the hospital.

As soon as I did I realised I’d made a mistake. It was the look she shot me. Something about it said here we go again.

Her chair squeaked as she’d leaned forward. “What did you say you saw?”…

Get the rest of your read on here!


Here is what Short Story Editor Tyler Malone had to say about the second pick-of-the-week story “Ado” from Ron Riekki: “Dance in the violent breeze, because you already live and breathe inside the madness daily.”

Here’s a bit to get ya goin’:

I had a girlfriend who got caught up in a tornado. And I mean up. An actual tornado. It was in Iowa, I think. One of those shitty vowel states. She was babysitting and took the kids to a silo apocalypse shelter that the crazy farmer dad had made and the youngest kid wanted her stuffed giraffe named Ollie or some crap like that and my ex- went back in the house for it and on the way back out the tornado actually picked her up and she cried once after sex telling me the whole story, saying that it felt like God loved her so much that He was showing her what it’s like in Heaven. And I couldn’t say she was talking like a nut case, because we’d just had sex and there was a blanket’s wet spot that was actually from her pond of tears from sharing this event that, to me, just seemed kind of stupid…

Get the rest of your read on here!

••• Mad Swirl Open Mic •••

Join Mad Swirl at the NEW Absinthe Lounge this 1st Wednesday of August (aka 08.05.15) 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! TThis month we are featuring Texas poet PW Covington!

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:

September: Sebastián Hasani Páramo


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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