The Best of Mad Swirl : 08.22.15

by on August 22, 2015 :: 0 comments

“Art is the most beautiful of all lies.” ~ Claude Debussy

••• The Mad Gallery •••

“Carefree As the Journey of Perfume” (above) by featured artist Bill Wolak. To see more Mad works from Bill, and our other contributing artists, please visit our Mad Gallery.

••• The Poetry Forum •••

This last week in Mad Swirl’s Poetry Forumwwe quelled the quizzers, drawer snapped shut; we fell into a free zone freak out, kissed fangs, spilled milk, wished we could sneak out; we sharpened acuity on obliquity; we sought levity in brevity; we were red tennies’ fodder on life’s teeter-totter; we picked our preference – poets over pundits (poetry over their pale patter); we versed our best in a tailorbird’s nest, sanity for our party guests. Wake, or party; one equals the other. Let’s live it up to write it down. ~ MH Clay

Schizo-I by Bhargab Chatterjee

a bus moves slowly over a torn page of history
i feel a push on the back EMPTINESS in a
puddle@familyplanninginindia grass-blades flicker
in the sun here green is OBliterated rain objectifies
the summer heat and the characters of a love story
published in a school magazine the nest of a tailor (?)
bird doesn’t depend on its country’s inflation in
the sweltering summer days good and evil have faces of
triumph it’s QUEER that Adam’s desire breaks the wall
of nature a self is viewed “as an aesthetic and ethical
object to be created and cultivated” VIOLENCE
“schopenhaur has described the surging dread that washes
over man when all of a sudden he loves his way among
the cognitive forms of appearance” in the form of social
revolution “whoever in this intellectual sphere began
talking about the immorality of the soul was immediately
excommunicated” the cabinet ministers lean forward
over the table while they exchange views about the forth-
coming budget the creepy = trendy looking monster
was discovered dead by the side of a pond sitting on
a tiny branch of a tree a crow looks at the CATAPULT
where the prime minister of its country sits with a package
for the poor

my book-case is full with old reeking papers waiting for
fleshy MUSHrooms + party guests

August 22, 2015

editors note: ​Nature, nurture, not sure, hard to bridge the gap; gotta hold it all together till the party guests arrive.​ – mh clay


Be that as it may
And that being said
At the end of the day
We must all be led
Down the long winding road
Adding to our heavy load
By kicking the linguistic toad
Down a hackneyed mode
Or having the price to pay
For another banal cliché
As the moronic
Call everything iconic.

August 21, 2015

editors note: Can’t say it better, “the moronic call everything iconic.” Yes! Thanks, Hal! (Chow down on another of Hal’s mad missives on his page – check it out.) – mh clay

Off Balance by Stephen Jarrell Williams

Off balance
They keep us
From liberating ourselves

Numbing our news
Hyping our games
Locked in with thumbs up

Omission of truth
Covered over with false flags
We’re nonchalantly hijacked

Speed in our milk
Salt on our wounds
Born dream-drugged

Eyes drifting backward
Butt heavy
Brain light

At this rate
Waiting for the mushroom cloud

We’ll probably throw confetti
At the special effects

Stir-crazy for more
Guzzling drinks
Pinching the next-door neighbor

She’s an ample broad
Eagerly kissing the frog
Anything for a sex spank

When we finally fall
On our smug faces
We’ll just call for room service

The guy in red tennis shoes
With an endless appetite
For more and more of our ignorant souls.

August 20, 2015

editors note: Maybe we could keep our feet if we all wore red tennis shoes… (We welcome Stephen back to the fold of our Contributing Poets with this submission. We’re happy to see his mad missives on his own page again – check it out.) – mh clay

Welcome by Serpil Karisli

Welcome to life
When words flow between the clouds
When the past is showing you the roads
Welcome to love
When you lose your touch
When you close your eyes
Welcome to homelessness
To the dark and the light
Take a seat
Let the play start
And see between the lives
The drunken light
When the waves touch the sea
And the shades in the mirror
And say goodbye

August 19, 2015

editors note: Yes, just so. Glad you could make it. Now, there’s the door… – mh clay

Obliquity by Walter Ruhlmann

Everything is oblique in this place, nothing is straight.
All is slanted, diagonal, sloping. Stones roll, holes form:
rain makes the terrain even more hazardous –
those drops that fell are giant shovels digging in.

As I see it from where I lie
somewhat sunbathing in the moist, fresh air,
green grass, grey clouds rushing through the sky –
one could fear they’d crash in one of the mountain tops
just like this plane did months ago – or the roof tops –
one erupting from this village lost in the snow
when winter comes
and nothing else, other than crowds skiing from dawn till dusk, matters.
All this whiteness cannot erase
the lunacy, the forlornness, the ridiculous size of this place.

He may well stare at all these trees –
branches rather, sticks that emerge from the soil,
cut off after last fall when the saint chain sawed the remains of lust.
No sin has been performed since then, all became flat again,
unlike this place where only the walls have to be straight and vertical.

August 18, 2015

editors note: One’s straight talk is another’s tangent. What your angle? – mh clay

Poisoned Dairy by Scott Thomas Outlar

Twisted, tortured, turned over
into the free zone, freak out
on the theory, conspiratorial cartoon
hallucinations near the border
of reason and insanity

Draw the lines
and drink the poison
passion falls hard in the garden

Kiss your fangs
and get the blackout

Drain the prism
it’s a whitewash

Scarecrow fever in the haystack
search after needles for scabbed veins

Sucking daydreams
through a bent straw
spill the milk and cry all day

August 17, 2015

editors note: Pity the poor border bumpers, ravished by their fascinations with the edge. Turn from them to fall into your own abyss. The edge is everywhere. – mh clay

CHANGES by Stefanie Bennett

That drawer with its two handles,
One in, one out;
Files on the evergreens,
Files on the banished…

And dust inspectors
Lolling about the hall;
And crusades of custom-built
Panicking muses come to stare

– Come to sound.
Come to turn you on.
Come to ask why
You’ve settled in –, vanishing.

Come to suggest you ‘fill in’
The questionnaire
While invisible spells strike
Moloch’s vacant chair…

I was there. I saw the emery claw
Tug unsuccessfully
At the two-handled draw
– One in. One out.

August 16, 2015

editors note: Keep those files in order; categorized by darkened deed. Keep the drawer closed. (We welcome Stefanie to our crazy congress of Contributing Poets with this submission. There’s another new poem in your future, plus more of her madness, on her new page – check it out.) – mh clay

••• Short Stories •••

Need-a-Read? Howsabout two?! Well then you’ve come to the right place! We got two tasty tales that you’ll surely want to devour

Here is what Short Story Editor Tyler Malone had to say about the first pick-of-the-week tale “Dream On” from Contributing Writer & Poet Louis Marvin: “In space, no one can hear you scream for love.”

Here’s a boost to take-off on:

Who minds making love to a beautiful woman? B5 was a man like any other, and making love to a lady who had powers was indeed special. But it was late at night when he dreamt of his soul mate and his reason for being. He fought this before, when to him it was nightmare. Now it was a floating dream, same as a child’s. He knew she was safe, he knew that they were safe. The three of them.

He floated from the ship then turned around and looked at the Monkey Wrench. Then he floated into space, not quick, not slow, as time had no meaning. He came upon that burned out meteor, the safe haven of his beloved. He was afraid, and it was not his to control, He came within a foot or so of her. She opened her eyes, no screaming nightmares. The monkey, like a child, opened his eyes too, and he was still, while staying snuggled next to her. The clawing had abated, that natural instinct to lash out at being trapped in this strange cocoon…

Keep orbiting this story right here!


Here is what Short Story Editor Tyler Malone had to say about our second pick-of-the-week tale “The Self Apart of Harriet Sparks” from Contributing Writer C.B. Johnson: “That part of you that lives in your shadow might not only look like your shape, but it could be more you than you are.”

Here’s a spark or two to get you lit:

(photo by Tyler Malone)

On the day of her mother’s book launch, Harriet Sparks unlocked her second self. This was convenient because she had previously cancelled an important date, in fact a romantic date with a boy, so as not to disappoint her mother. While she didn’t care much for her mother’s free verse she cared deeply about their relationship, and so she would not miss it, this singular event in her mother’s life.

Harriet decided that she would attend her mother’s launch and her second self would be instructed to attend the date. Harriet wanted to go on the date, but the second self, who was otherwise near-absolutely identical in every physical respect to Harriet, right down to the last freckle, did not have braces on her teeth. This detail was important and Harriet believed it would be to her significant advantage in getting the romantic attachments of the boy she had wanted to name as hers since school began.

The second self of Harriet Sparks sat across from her at the kitchen table and listened to Harriet’s briefing. The second self of course had no knowledge of the boy, who was Lamont Parkinson from Harriet’s English class, and so Harriet gave a tour of a terrain she knew well, using the boy’s social media photo albums. Harriet also had to instruct her second self in her crush’s tastes in music, television, movies, and literature. Harriet patched together a taste profile from a combination of stickers she had seen on his laptop, graffiti on his library bag, and questions he had asked in class.

Lamont Parkinson had reportedly seen a movie on the only other date he was understood to have ever been on, with Elinor Ransom. The boy’s movie review, which circulated verbally among Harriet’s nearest and dearest, was three words, “Just so menacing,” and the friends were unanimous in their opinion that the review wasn’t really about the movie, but was a review of Elinor Ransom herself, who had chosen the romance comedy in question.

Neither he nor she had asked the other out again and Harriet had jumped at the opportunity…

Feel what we mean? Get the rest of your sparks 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’ Beautiful,

Johnny O
Chief Editor

MH Clay
Poetry Editor

Tyler Malone
Short Story Editor

Madelyn Olson
Visual Editor

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