The Best of Mad Swirl : 08.29.15

by on August 29, 2015 :: 0 comments

“Speak clearly, if you speak at all; carve every word before you let it fall.” ~ Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.

••• The Mad Gallery •••

“Dancing on Burning Kites” (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 Forumwe gagged on Gonzo artistery; we sought death before poem in the protection of clothes; we turned from those of anger’s ilk, no more to taste of venom’s milk; we weighed the days through dark and dust to our final cracked containment; we kept love real with a summer’s meal (lip-smackin’ good); we lingered long on rural love, bulls in front and rain above; we worked up an appetite bigger than Death’s. Words for life! Now, that’s good eatin’. ~ MH Clay

The Gordian Knot by Catfish McDaris

The snow melted upon her skin
hot drifting desert sand blown
smooth hungry and beautiful

The two wars inside each person
go on forever, love and hate
the sky always a gun barrel blue gray

After she left all was loneliness and
one can on a table the label read
DEATH, eat it before it eats you.

August 29 2015

editors note: I gots me a eternal appetite. Where’s my can opener? (We welcome Catfish to our creative conspiracy of Contributing Poets with this submission. Read more of his madness on his page – check it out.) – mh clay

A Rural Love Story by Pijush Kanti Deb

Sunrise in the tune of morning prayer
and a lazy flow of whispering breeze
carrying the scent of love
bloomed somewhere in a muddy meadow
and an enchanting melody
of her passionate calling
for her man of love,
just a good beginning of a rural love story
projecting a hilarious hustle
among the ensnared lover
and a pair of bullocks on the land
and in the sky
among the clouds
rich in sea and ocean
until the lover reaches his land of love
with sharp weapons and gifts
for his lying beloved
and the hustle is turned
into a disciplined, artful and satiable
touching and scratching
of the lover on the soft body of his beloved
staying behind a pair of bullocks
and beneath a black raining umbrella.

August 28 2015

editors note: From sun to sun (from plow to plow), the farmer’s work… – mh clay

A Singular Repast by Donal Mahoney

We are to each other now
many decades later
what we were the day

we got married, a couple
at the kitchen table on
a summer night—she

a slice of watermelon,
corners touching the ceiling,
covering my face in juice

and I the corn she butters
before she devours it.
We eat as fast as we can.

August 27, 2015

editors note: Oh my! Can’t wait for dessert… – mh clay

TRUTH OR DARE by Joseph Lisowski

People live lives
One by one, by one
By none.

Losses are legion,
Not worth repeating
Or numbering

When weight increases
Each day
Each year like

Tumbling dark down
Cellar steps
Where tools rust,

Souls scream in Mason jars
spider-webbed, cracked,
Stacked on a packed earth floor.

August 26, 2015

editors note: Not like Granny’s peach preserves at all, or are we? (We welcome Joseph to our crazy congress of Contributing Poets with this submission. Read more of his madness on his new page – check it out.) – mh clay

Untitled I by Guest Poet Bekah Steimel

I’m milking venom from my memories
through the intricate process
of puncturing silence with conversation
because the antidote rests
in the release of anguish, of artificial apathy
I made the mistake of bottling anger
instead of antitoxin
I made the mistake of following their footprints
instead of making my own
but now I am headed North
on the mend
from the emotional science
of extracting remedy from rage

August 25, 2015

editors note: A perfecter of personal pathology. Physician, heal thyself! – mh clay

Brother by Alainah Aamir

Sometimes we extend hands just because we know it is second nature for one to take them in a mannerism they can’t shake.

Some clothes mold themselves to adapt to the shape of whichever identity they are protecting.

Some are like my mother in my childhood, like stiff collars on the first day of school, violent refusal to adapt to what has been put before them.

Even then there are dissidents. You submerge anything in water long enough, it loses its fight.

I would like to die before I am made into a poem.

Sometimes people are one thing for long enough, you forget they were ever something else.

Nobody ever thinks of crescents when there are full moons.

There are no black holes, only all that sunshine.
You were never here, only traces.

August 24, 2015

editors note: Be they the unborn or the early dead; we know them, but “only traces.” – mh clay

Gonzo Joe by Addie Soaraki

He got his word salad
>From blotto nights,
Psych wards,
Psychedelic jam fests,
Grateful Dead on
Permanent replay.
He took paper scraps,
In a bluesy suitcase,
All scarified and barren
Of class to the school
Of not-so-hard knocks.

He attires himself in
A newspaper boat
On his head like
Napoleon to distract
Them, them, them
>From his “grammatical
Crustiness”. He knows
Where to put his
Commas in all the
Wrong places like
The mawkish girls
He finds copacetic,
If not antiseptic, to
Do stupid things
He calls “artistery”.
Gag me
With a volcano.

August 23, 2015

editors note: So, THAT’s where “artistery” comes from! Go, Gonzo! – mh clay

••• Short Stories •••

Need-a-Read? Well then you’ve come to the right place!

“Hypnosis” by KJ Hannah Greenberg is one that just might get’cha spellbound. Here is what Short Story Editor Tyler Malone had to say about this pick-of-the-week tale: “What’s the most valuable thing about yourself? It’s what’s inside, down deep and way back in the past. Moments not even remembered, but places we go each time we close our eyes.”

Here’s a bit of “Hypnosis” to slip you under:

(photo by Tyler Malone)

Jacey: “Professor Trigger believes we can rediscover childhood through hypnosis.”

Bruce: “Pass the cheese puffs.”

Jacey: “Really! Reduced peripheral awareness and all that. Think of it! Back to diapers….”

Bruce: “Kidding me?”

Jacey: “No. Back to bullies….”

Bruce: “Who’d want…”

Jacey: “…and high school babes.”

Bruce: “Stoner. How’d you get into this school?”

Jacey: “Rich uncle. Big donations. Kidding. Good SATs. Don’t you want to be a state where you have enhanced capacity for response to suggestion?”

Bruce: “If you were a chick, maybe.”

Jacey: “Friend, I’m failing Psych 101. I need the extra credit.”

Bruce: “And which sister?”

Jacey: “For this package of brewskies?”

Bruce: “How? You’re also underage.”

Jacey: “Fraternity brother. Anyway, Doc Trigger said, in his last class, that by using a series of preliminary instructions….”

Bruce: “Can you guarantee the babes and not the diapers?”

Jacey: “… the subject will ignore all other aspects of his or her environment…”

Bruce: “Two packs.”

Jacey: “IOU on the second?”

Bruce: “Yup. Where’s the ‘psychiatrist couch?’”

Jacey: “My bed okay?”

Bruce: “If you clear the junk.”

Jacey: “Comfy?”

Bruce: “Smells like gym socks and worse.”

Jacey: “Look at this pendant.”

Bruce: “The yo-yo you’re holding or that goober half in your nose?”…

Now that you’re under our mad spell, we command you to get the rest of your read on right here!

••• Mad Swirl Open Mic •••

Join Mad Swirl at Absinthe Lounge this 1st Wednesday of September (aka 09.02.15) at 8:00 sharp, when we will swirl it up madly in the LIVE way that we do every month! This month we are featuring Poet Sebastián Páramo! Here’s a bit about Sebastián:

“Sebastian H. Paramo is poet living in Denton working on a doctorate in poetry at UNT. His poems have appeared in many online and in print venues, including Huizache, Lunch Ticket, Front Porch Journal, and others. He’s also co-curator of the Pegasus Reading Series in Dallas and has read his poems in NY and Dallas.”

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.

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:

October: Alex Pogosov
November: Hello/Goodbye


t’was 11 years ago this coming November that Mad Swirl met Absinthe Lounge. In those years we’ve shared a-many mad mic moments upon Absinthe’s stage. But as they say, all good things must come to an end… On November 4th Mad Swirl will be hosting our last event at Absinthe Lounge. But don’t fret, Mad Swirl’s monthly mic madness isn’t goin’ away, we’re just gonna be swirlin’ our madness upon different stages. After November’s Hello/Goodbye festivities, we will be takin’ the remainder of the year off. Come January 2016 we will be back at it, doin’ the open mic voodoo that we do-do! Where might those stages be? You’ll just have to wait and see. Stay tuned!


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…

Clearly Speakin’,

Johnny O
Chief Editor

MH Clay
Poetry Editor

Tyler Malone
Short Story Editor

Madelyn Olson
Visual Editor

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