The Best of Mad Swirl : 12.12.15

by on December 12, 2015 :: 0 comments

“Of all lies, art is the least untrue.” ~ Gustave Flaubert

••• The Mad Gallery •••

“The canals and barges” (above) by featured artist Eleanor Leonne Bennett. To see more Mad works from Eleanor, and our other diverse contributing artists, please visit our Mad Gallery.

••• The Poetry Forum •••

This last week in Mad Swirl’s Poetry Forumwe caught the cost of kisses lost; we felt the shine of hope in sunrise fine; we sought comfort in cranberries carried through calamity; we shook off lover-friend, a languoring loose end; we stuck in spider spill, estranged from self will; we saw a past love in light of last love; we muscled out the middle man to stand as empty little man. Kiss shine chaos, loosely tangled, disappointed greed in life newfangled – so many words. Always, words… ~ MH Clay

Muscling by Robert L. Martin

Man the throttle, full speed ahead
Fire up all systems to the max
Take the devil aboard and go
Hammer down, wait for nobody
Ram the hell out of whatever
And whoever gets in the way
Don’t take heed to danger ahead
Don’t listen to nobody or nothin’
Throw yourself into the fire
Savor the sweet aroma of burning flesh
Fill your nostrils with black embers
Then ride across the blackened skies

Keep going ‘til hell freezes over
Keep going ‘til the devil gets tired
Keep going ‘til black angels sing
Keep going ‘til the seasons run out
Keep going ‘til matter goes back to nothing
Keep going ‘til apocalypses close down
Keep going ‘til there is no more
Charge ye renegades, ride across the sky

Muscle your way into another’s dream
Throw him aside and laugh at him
Take his wife, his treasure, and his goats
Burn down his house and build your own
Stand affixed until the moss grows about
Stick out your chest and wave your banners
Tell the rain when to fall and the sky to clear
Tell the oceans to part for you
And tell the seasons when to stop
Keep muscling away until
There’s no more to muscle into
Then what are you going to do?

December 12, 2015

editors note: So much ado about an accumulation of goats; more than anyone else. (With this third accepted submission, we welcome Robert to our crazy conclave of Contributing Poets. Read more of his madness on his new page – check it out.) – mh clay

Sick of Being a Solivagant by Paul Tristram

He took two planes first,
then caught a train taking him
from one country to the next
and finally rode a bus
up into the mountains
where his native folk dwell.
Twenty five years away travelling
it had been, he reminisced
as he traversed tenderly
his childhood greens and streets,
then took two back lanes around
to where Maisie’s mother lived.
M-A-I-S-I-E, he repeated
over and over in his head,
savouring each letter as it rolled
across his pining mind.
She had been his Sweetheart,
right up until the week he had left
and she was the only thing
about this place that a photograph
could not cure nor yearn-balm.
He nervously knocked thrice
upon the dark green front door
with cap in hand, spat and fingered
hair to the side and tried in vain
not to smile in greeting too weirdly.
She answered, gasping in shock,
stuttered “You’re far too late!”
And with a grandchild bouncing
in her right arm and a wedding
ringed left hand, she ‘shooo-ed’
him quickly off the doorstep
and backwards dizzy into the past.

December 11, 2015

editors note: Can’t see what everyone else does. Reality blinded by his sense of past. – mh clay

Breakthrough by Anthony Ward

He was so wrapped up in himself he couldn’t fight his way out
Clung to himself like cling-film
Cocooned as a spider’s prey
Waiting to be devoured by the arachnid conscience of self realisation

December 10, 2015

editors note: Succumb to that inner spider; empty the old self to fill the new. – mh clay

Loose End by Andrea Bonaccorsi

I don’t like you.
the inside of your head
that we both get lost in
is another story

It’s over.
I don’t want the wrong idea growing
in those contorted dark folds
tangled like sheets

I’m done.
too exhausted
to play games (I don’t want you to win)

I’m tired.
I want to curl up and have my whole head
smoothed in those sheets
by you


I mean it.​

December 9, 2015

editors note: Body caught in the brain bed; so hard to mean it when you don’t. – mh clay

In a Moment’s Time: A Memoir of the 1947 Partition by Trivarna Hariharan

An unearthly silence permeates the room

blue clouds of unease float around

and we sit there for hours, waiting for them to pass


when Nahid asks for cranberries, I tell her to wait till
Rafia chachi
comes/ afraid to tell her she might not/


If chachi was here
she would comfort us with stories/
and tell us we would come out of this rubble safe/ very safe
she would smile/ make us smile/

and then I am interrupted, suddenly, yet unsurprisingly
by the sounds of the bells
signalling us to go,
telling us to unlearn the names of
the places whose names we’ve grown up loving all our lives

in a moment’s time.

December 8, 2015

editors note: Changing name and border won’t change place and people; still, we force it, “for the greater good.” (Wiki “the Partition of India” for context; compare to events today.) – mh clay


Hello, Traveler!
Why are you frustrated these days?
Is it because your dream is swept away?
You will be alone in the future,
Your journey is halted,
Scared of a lone wolf future.

Hello, Traveler!
Disasters are temporary,
Be patient for sometimes
This is the fun from Nature,
There are dancing Earthquakes
and singing Thunders in
romantic moods,
One day they will try
And hope will shine
With the sunrise.

Be patient, Focus!
With your heart and mind target
The mountain of faith,
When the beams of sunrise
finally come calling at dawn
We will get new hopes of life.

In that moment
You should also
Paint in different colors
With your immortal hands,
In these tragic moments
Don’t be overwhelmed,
We should spend some nights
In the open sky,
We should spend some days
In the hunger stomach,
I think you are well-known,
We should lose something
To get something,
We should be patient
For a bright future.

December 7, 2015

editors note: A new voice from Nepal to offer encouraging words. We can use some “new hopes of life” about now; how about you? – mh clay

The Summer Breeze by Paul Smith

As summer winds down
The wind blows really hard
Right around Labor Day
After dinner
The trees get all breezy
You can feel the wind’s strength
It’s trying to say something
It’s the summer saying good-bye to fall
Or the fall saying goodbye to summer
Someone’s saying good-bye to someone else
I’m not sure
Who’s blowing a kiss to whom
But it is a hot kiss
Good-bye kisses can be hot
I got one once
From a girl I betrayed
For another
I was a wretch
And that last kiss was a doozy
She opened her mouth all the way
Inviting my tongue in there
Which I said ‘no’ to
Thinking she might lop it off
In spite
But she wouldn’t have
She really loved me
Her mouth said so
She let me know
The next time I want her smoldering lips
They will not be there
The next time I want someone to listen to me
It won’t be her ears listening
The next time I want the comfort
Of her arms
They’d be gone
But I wouldn’t listen
I was a wretch
And a week later the girl
I dumped her for
Dumped me
That should have made me philosophical
But it made me hard inside
Wanting to take vengeance on every woman
On earth
But that didn’t happen
Because all the women I met
Found me unattractive
Being wretched and
Loathing yourself
Will do that
And it deprived me getting to know
Girls I could have
At least talked to
So this makes me philosophical
Thinking again about the trees and the wind and summer
And everything
Is the fall kissing the summer good-bye
With a smile on its smoldering lips
Saying, ‘Adios, motherfucker
Your time’s up?’
Or is it the summer bidding adieu to
The fall
With a pithy riposte like
‘See you in the funny papers’?
Either way
There will be a rendezvous
Between the fall and winter
The winter and spring
Spring and summer
Each one thinking they got the better of
The one in front or back
Don’t they realize there is this thing
Called payback?
And whenever you think you’re
One up on someone else
Next time it’s your turn
In the box
Summer doesn’t know
Fall doesn’t know
Winter doesn’t know
Spring hath not a clue
But the wind knows
When the wind blows
And the wind blows
All year long

December 6, 2015

editors note: Summer breeze with Fall between a Winter freeze to bring an allergic introspective sneeze. ‘Tis an ill wind… – mh clay

••• Short Stories •••

Happy Need-a-Read Day! This week we are delivering you a story from Contributing Writer & Poet KJ Hannah Greenberg that’s outta this world.

Here is what Short Story Editor Tyler Malone had to say about this pick’o’the week tale, Trade Relations in the Horseshoe Galaxy Cluster: “We mean what we say. We know what we’re talking about when we know what we’re talking about. That’s all true until our mouths speak for our brains.”

Here’s a bit to help the take-off:

Reid was optimistic. The latest sales forecast located his zone in improved prosperity. Other leading economic indicators, too, looked rosy. There was a sharp increase in building permits in his region. As well, the dollar exchange rate had climbed, and unemployment claims had dropped. Whereas Reid wasn’t yet ready to invite Deidra to sample Champaign in his apartment, he was feeling fly.

What’s more, Tony had been noising off about possible trade partners in another galaxy. Reid was neither a speculative fiction fan nor a connoisseur of astrophysics, but it had been engraved on his profit-hungry heart that new markets were what “the journey” was all about. Only the fiercest beat the competition.

Reid called Abalina McMann, a friend of his from UCLA, to discuss the possibility that giant sentient lobsters lived in Jupiter’s clouds and that an outworlder culture reigned over the whole of the Horseshoe Galaxy Cluster. Although Abalina, who focused on phonon mediated microwave kinetic inductance detectors, as part of UC Berkeley’s team, tittered at Reid’s malformed ideas, she suggested they meet for drinks, naming San Francisco’s Terroir as their destination.

Albina had read about Reid’s divorce in their alumni magazine. All she said, though, was she was eager to try organic wines. After “neutrino oscillation,” “Old River Vintners’ cabernet sauvignon” was one of the sexiest phrases in her mental filing cabinet.

“Cosmic ray spectrum.”

“Oh, stop!”

“Gamma radiation.”

“You know how to quick-fire a girl.”

“I thought that was the Adastra N’Oak Chardonnay talking.”

“Not sure. Didn’t we have a flight of eight?”

“I mostly sniffed. I prefer Anderson Valley Brewing and Russian River’s offerings.”


“Active galactic nucleus.”

“You’re changing the subject.”

“I’m wooing you, as is your pleasure, but I’m running out of cute words.”

“You want me for my legs.”

“Actually, I want your brain.”

“You’re good.”

“I know.”…

Get the rest of your surreal-read on right 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…

Tellin’ the Truth-ish, the whole Truth-ish, & nothin’ but the Truth-ish,

Johnny O
Chief Editor

MH Clay
Poetry Editor

Tyler Malone
Short Story Editor

Madelyn Olson
Visual Editor

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