The Best of Mad Swirl : 12.19.15

by December 19, 2015 0 comments

“I want to make people cry even when they don’t understand my words.” ~ Edith Piaf

••• The Mad Gallery •••

“Chester Historic” (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 named names of rescue; we watched the passage of two precarious perches; we risked tranquility and trust for the return of hope; we dallied with a doll, her catchphrase, couldn’t hear; we encountered an unemployable elf, placed in a pitiful Pan-demic; we gave up gravity’s grip on newborn captains of destiny; we played craps with mistuned maps. It’s the journey not the way. It’s the “What” of the “Why. ~ MH Clay

Strayling by Chris Zimmerly

For many sunsets I went out
Into the fields of my home’s
Longitude and latitude,
Desiderium heavy on my heart
Wondering why the winds encourage
Wings casting shadows brushing lips
And then blow them on their way
The gentle fingertips speaking in Braille language
I do not know
My maps are turned upside down
Which way to go?
Strayling when They showed me the suicide room
I refused to pull the trigger
So, I fell out of the window, window
The breeze was delicious
There I was wing walking on a bi-plane
Buzzing the State Fair of Texas, 1936
The sky a blue bonnet meadow
The wind and I making out
She kissing back my scarf
Like I was, Fancy
She touches with her tongue
Vibrating carillon of thoughts
Turning atoms to Yes
Witness the altitude
From the edge of a silver wing
Velocity angling me away
I was a fish made of butter in a hot hand
A smile memory melts me
Smearing the seams
Shaking out the stuffing animal
The buttons were unbuttoning
The zippers were unzipping
Shoe laces were untying
A eulogy burdened by desiderium
All was strayling in the wake
I was a comet hat scarecrow
Losing bit by bit the splattering birds
Were taking away my straw
To weave their nidified nests
I was becoming less and less of a real thing
Until I was just fluttering fabric
A flag eaten by the wind
My hat caught in the briar



Have I become?

December 19, 2015

editors note: What? What ever, what not, what gives? What, ye merry! What, indeed! – mh clay

Reincarnate by D.A. Moulton

We hit the high line on the horizon
passing pines and oaks
with tattered arms outstretched.
A tragic trajectory.
And the stars winced while the moon rolled over
out of sight and mind.
We crashed through leaves upon fingertips
too wooden to break from their ache
and snatch a shirttail or sleeve.
Gravity bound as we were.
And then there was the ground
scattering us, shattering us
into a million different people and places.
We never knew we could be
so proud and desperate,
so separate from who we were.
Now beneath the trees
beating the dust from our hats,
gathering up our skirts to knees.
Striking out, newborn captains of destiny.

December 18, 2015

editors note: While some celebrate a particular birth, let’s all celebrate our own rebirth with every dawn. – mh clay

Written while in a circa 60’s decor waiting room down at the state unemployment office by Phillip Quotient

Out on lonely-daily job searches
witness men and women unhappily
stuffed in emotionless square spaces
boxed away–Kafka or Gogol
dreamt bureaucratic ensembles
typing notes and obscurantist memos
from the CEO on high…

Admittedly I’m going nowhere
…no concern for my own future
knowing well my drug addled middle
age will arrive homeless and unstable;
ill thoughts, lost in wild imagination
where rests a sad Pan overgrown
with hair and beard turning into a myth.

December 17, 2015

editors note: The true story of how an old nobody got his job as a holiday hipster with a red suit and big bag of toys. – mh clay

Plastic fucking fantastic by Katie Lewington

I’m a doll
Bend me, in which position do you want me

You can’t bite me
I’m plastic
Don’t hurt me

I’m a doll
I have no feelings

I have a catchphrase

I have a catchphrase

Plus accessories

I’m a doll
Bend me, in which position do you want me

Lets party in the pool
Its hot

Ew! I’m horny
Have me, I’m plastic
Bend me, in which position do you want me
I’m a doll
I have a catchphrase

I have a catchphrase

Can you hear me

December 16, 2015

editors note: From plastic intentions come plastic results. Listen up, Kens. – mh clay

December Weeping Willow (2015 Paris) by Gregg Dotoli

sage graceful composed
wistful for tranquil joyous years
streaming green tears of reverie
for the return of good will
and respect for all beliefs
evening moonlight and stars
ease the pain of observing
waxing terror and mistrust
a cosmic peacebreeze magnifies hope
igniting the promise of harmony among all humans

December 15, 2015

editors note: In the face of current dissonances, let that peacebreeze blow. Amen. – mh clay

City Lights by Terry Severhill

The ice cream cone perched precariously near the edge of the bench.
It didn’t have the look or feel of an abandoned thing.
Around the corner the old woman lay with her treasures, her home.
The cone was starting to drip over its waffled surface.
Her bottle, wrapped in brown paper was carefully perched in the nest of her arm.
Drool was dripping down her waffled face.
She had the look of something long ago abandoned.
Around the corner, someone had rescued the cone.
It was in the sun.
She lay in the shadowed alley.

December 14, 2015

editors note: One lost, not abandoned; the other abandoned, not lost. – mh clay

Charlie Idaho by Lucinda L. Flanary

Charlie Idaho
The name that could be given to adventurers
And super heroes
But there is no rescue here
If it could have been anything
Then it really would have been something
A case of distance standing in the way
Of undiscovered kismet
Days have turned into years
Life has happened to us both
The uncorked bottles of sparkling conversation
Long emptied, with no plan to open more

But Charlie Idaho is not the name of a genie
He can’t live in bottles
Or grant wishes
Charlie Idaho is a super hero
But there is no rescue here
The mundane and the monotony overtake us
A border of unseen Kryptonite between us
And we become another name in a newsfeed
Another text that almost got sent
Maybe never to be anything more than a moment of Auld Lang Syne

But sometimes Charlie Idaho wears a cape
And he flies through my mind
At traffic lights
On swing sets in near empty parks
Sometimes at night
Just before sleep erases the day
And I know
That if it could have been anything
Then it really would have been something
Taking on the world
And facing the mundane and the monotony

I look to the skies sometimes
And I wonder if he believes that Cindy Indiana
Might also be the name of a super hero
And that those borders of Kryptonite
Will become nothing more
Than lines on a map
A road trip
A bus ticket not yet purchased
And that maybe someday
There could be a rescue here

December 13, 2015

editors note: All possibilities present in the naming of names; Idaho, Indiana. So much can happen in such states. – mh clay

••• Short Stories •••

Happy Need-a-Read Day! This week we bring you a darker shade of Contributing Writer/Poet/Artist Mike Fiorito.

Here is what Short Story Editor Tyler Malone had to say about this pick’o’the week tale, \”The Twilight’s Last Gleaming”:: “We have ourselves, always. Know that and love that. It’ll be all you can love when no one else is around. When everyone is taken not by gods, but by devils–other people.”

Here’s a glimpse of the gleamin’:

photo by Tyler Malone

The thing he missed most was the sound of birdsong.

After the change, you no longer heard birds. You might see birds high in the sky, now and again, far from humans, as if too frightened to come near. But you didn’t hear them. You couldn’t hear anything. There was a ringing that droned in his ears but he wasn’t sure if that was the after effect of the noise the explosion made or if was just something he heard. There weren’t any trees, either. The sky was barren, a stark grey pallor filled the sky.

He walked along the shore. The ocean water didn’t come in great crashing waves like before. The water moved like thick petroleum. He drank the water. Even if he killed him, he had to drink it so as not to die anyway.

He’d been walking alone for at least a year. He’d seen a few people. He met one man a few months ago who was looking for his wife. He spent a night with the man. They ate a raccoon together on a spit, cooking above a great fire. The man’s eyes were streaked red. He spoke in whispers.

“I used to be farmer,” he said. “Before the change.” No one referred to what happened…

Get the rest of your gleam-read on right here!

••• Mad Swirl Merch •••

BACK BY POPULAR DEMAND… If you’re MAD and you know it, why not wear it loudly and proudly? The whole Mad Swirl of merch begins here, in our new online store! This merch will be available for purchase until December 21st. They come in all sizes for men and woman and a variety of colors. Come get you one… or two, you know, for the mad ones in your swirlin’ world!

We here at Mad Swirl have been tossing around the idea of selling all kinds of merch but we aren’t sure what the demand would be. We are dippin’ our toe in the swirlin’ waters with this lil store we set up. If all goes good, we will continue selling our madness and start offering up all kinds of crazy designs!


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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