The Best of Mad Swirl : 01.30.16

by January 30, 2016 0 comments

“Let us pretend that my mind is a taxi… and suddenly you are riding in it.” ~ David Bowie

••• The Mad Gallery •••

“Eggs” (above) by our newest featured artist Maria Valentina Sheets. To view more of Maria’s mad-nificent canvases, aslong with our other featured artists, visit our Gallery at!

••• The Poetry Forum •••

This last week in Mad Swirl’s Poetry Forumwe recorded the local life of the land, banged out on a typewriter, second hand; we looked to hold, but sight too short, found nothing held; we painted snow in perfect form, so closely we became the storm; we cued Coltrane for cosmic head bobbing and facet fascination; we pushed a cart ’round the border of life and fierce order; we moved like low-street wanderers, hurrying past pillars of salt; we became magic prayer gong thinkers, wound up happy strange juice drinkers. Listen, now. Listen for the flow… ~ MH Clay

A juice vendor by Hem Raj Bastola

To street
A strange juice
He makes
From the layers
Of imagination
His hidden flesh
Squeezing clouds
Sailing the air
Oh! Incisive

If any audience
You have Oh! Wind
Carry Oh! Carry
To purify the ears
The gong of prayer
A temple bell

Of such art
Winding a juice
In silence he serves
Among the busy streets.
Standing on the corner
A mute consumer, I
Ready to drink
A glass as now he fills
Exuding from
The rock.

Neither did
You hear
Nor did I

The flow.

January 30, 2016

editors note: Magic elixir from a cloud squeezing dream fixer. – mh clay

Journey by Bhargab Chatterjee

Ce ne fait rien
if we step forward

life is a narrow
straight line

those who look back
fall down

with a bang
into a deep, dark ditch

let’s go
we need not make the road wider

you know ‘the world as will and idea‘
don’t be afraid

of a polyphonic silence
the high street is not ours

January 29, 2016

editors note: Yup, it’s the journey. What matters is movement; the end is unknown. – mh clay

Out for a walk by Francesca Castaño

So we enter
the elegant shop looking
like two middle aged
drifters dressed
in house clothes
just gone out
to get groceries
carrying still
the empty shopping cart
suddenly thinking
we need some lustrous
new suit to disguise
decay at the work place.
The young shop attendants
let us try impossible sizes on
with benevolent indifference –
after the third try we give up
and walk out, wheeling
the shopping cart
back to the grocer’s
talking about cucumbers and tomatoes
and ignoring the fierce order of things,
taking each other by the arm
like in those dreams
in which you seem to be both
asleep and awake.

January 28, 2016

editors note: Waking the dream of a day when every day’s a dream. – mh clay

Listening to Coltrane by R.A. Hernandez

Waiting for the subway,
Head bobbing,
Sporadic beat,
Head bobbing,
Setting the new paradigm
For head bobbing,
Coltrane with his gallant sax
The whole world is a matchbox,
Waiting to go up,
Chin up son,
As my father would say

Listening to Coltrane
Head rocking
Hip hop heads watching
Love be supreme
Supreme love being,
Reach out and touch your neighbor
For the sake of all humanity,
Keep the heads of the world bobbing,
When kick drum kicks in
And the roll of the bass drum
Shakes you down to your bones,
Thank life for Coltrane
And subways and graffiti artists
And homeless veterans of the eternal night,
And the death of Mars,

Now stepping into subway car
With head phones on,
As side A fades into side B
Come moving,
Keep grooving,
Keep the love oozing
From pelvic gardens bloom
And hoist the greatest facets of this life
Onto your shoulders
And carry the beat on and on and on…
Head bobbing, the ultimate sign
Of digging someone else’s scared vibes.

January 27, 2016

editors note: Share those scared vibes; a cosmic connection comes. Thank life! – mh clay

I AM THE BLIZZARD by Ruth Z. Deming

I pace back and forth
refrigerator full
hummus from the
yogurt with chocolate
and raspberry so I
won’t pass out from
a diabetes low.

I stare out the window
such whiteness
a fresh bridal gown
laced with moon beams.

Slipping on my clogs
I step onto the front
porch. At midnight
an otherworldly glow bathes
my skin a milky white.

Listen! Does snow
sound as it falls? Do
it click or tap or
make melancholy

Its tiny arrows fall
from the sky, piercing
the peach fuzz on my
warm pregnant
cheeks with
a cold ouch!

Barely protected
beneath my
polka-dot PJs
I land in Siberia
where the cold
killed the right arm,
yes, the frost did
it, to a newly anointed
painter name of
Stankowski, not young,

His brilliant reds,
the oranges, the
Rothko blacks, slashed with
poetry, reach out to
embrace me.

I’d like to have his
work hanging on my
wall. There ’tis:
a painting
Huge –
squares of white
white and more
feathery white

Hands on canvas
I take a deep yogi
breath, the paint
smells like snow
as I walk right in

I will stay awhile
If I sleep, do not
disturb. Wake me
when it’s over
a live mummy
with frosty-
white hair and
a body that glows.

January 26, 2016

editors note: As the digging ensues, look out for a poet in a painting. You’ll know you found her by “a body that glows.” – mh clay

Eyes of the beholder by James Brown

You look at me and over me, deep down in my soul you’ll never reach, for if you do you’ll freeze instantly, deep down I’m cold inside and you’re outside looking, not at the straining red blood veins in my eyes squeezing my cortices, nerves react; disgruntled reflex, my pupils were blinded as they are weakflesh, sight I could not make see to be free of a detachable heart murmur. You will never feel the real pain until tomorrow but that day it’s just sorrow that runs through the veins as you come home to find you really have no friendship only the prehensile-hold of I done that smile.

January 25, 2016

editors note: To behold is not to be held unless you get beyond that smile. – mh clay


running bathwater on one side,
Miles Davis on the other,
above, the wannabe diva
screeching something from Turandot
in my one room and half-kitchen,
a small black and white TV,
a pawn shop guitar,
a purring ginger cat,
another neighbor in my one chair
drinking my last beer,
complaining how he can’t get a job,
down below, the small falafel shop
squeezed with, hungry dancers, artists,
on the sidewalk, a street musician
strumming the poor up for change,
a junkie crashed on a stoop,
the local whore grocery shopping
or is that the local grocery shopper whoring,
and all hi the name of
life experience, required research –
on the table, a second hand typewriter,
a blank sheet of paper,
awaiting the payoff

January 24, 2016

editors note: Surrounded by verse, nothing on the page… yet. – mh clay

••• Short Stories •••

Need-a-Read? And do we got a raucous tale for you to kick-off this weekend with! This week’s featured story comes from Contributing Writer Oleg Razumovsky. Here’s what Short Story Editor Tyler Malone has to say about this pick-of-the-week story: “Art is a weapon, better than judo or karate. Wine is a close second, though.”

If you need a convincer, here’s a bit of “Aksinya” to whet your reading appetite::

I can’t for the fuck of me understand Aksinya. One moment she’s bald and the next she wears blue hair. One moment she is demure and sad and nothing will cheer her up, than she is the tumult of the falls and starts to fight.

That day we sat on a bench in broad daylight on Kozlov St., near the Krushev slum where our buddy Vakunja dwells. We drank, we smoked and played cards. It is best to drink at broad daylight in the most crowded places. Much less likely that the cops get you.

Aksinya is talented. She draws, writes stories, plays instruments. Her mouth is puckered. I gave her my T-shirt with the inscription: “A TT-30 is better than judo or karate.”

Eventually I went to take a leak to the ravine and met Professor Leon. Talked to him for a while. Haven’t seen him for ages. He is so old and drunk. I once saw him on the porch of a bookstore absolutely stoned. I shouted: Leon! He turned sharply but could not keep the balance and fell. His pants went down revealing a pink butt. A fat woman passing by laughed at the sight so much that her bra burst. Professor Leon is more dead than alive nowadays but he still teaches at the university. It would be silly not to borrow one hundred rubles and a drink from such a drunk, I thought…

Get the rest of your raucous read on right here!

••• Mad Swirl Open Mic •••

Join Mad Swirl & Swirve the 1st Wednesday of February (aka 02.03.16) as we continue to swirl up our open mic madness into a new year at our NEW Open Mic home, The Underpass Bar! This month we will be hosting the 1st Annual Dr. Googily-Eyes Healing Circus & Mad Swirlin’ Medicine Show: Inciting the Rise of YES and the Fall of NO. ‘Nuff said? yeah, we thought so ;)

Come on out, one & all. Get a brainful of Swirve, share in the Mad Swirl’n festivities, & if the spirit is movin’ ya get yourself a spot on our list. Come to be a part of this collective creative love child we affectionately call Mad Swirl. Come to participate. Come to appreciate. Come to swirl-a-brate!

Mad Love,
Doc Googily-Eyed Guy

P.S. Mad Swirl will once again be trying our hand at the whole UStream broadcast so those that can’t be here in Big D to witness our mic madness live can still get a look-see at the swirlin’ action. Tune in THIS 1st Wednesday starting at 8-ish!


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…

Beep! Beep!,

Johnny O
Chief Editor

MH Clay
Poetry Editor

Tyler Malone
Short Story Editor

Madelyn Olson
Visual Editor

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