The Best of Mad Swirl : 02.27.16

by on February 27, 2016 :: 0 comments

“All things must change to something new, to something strange.” ~ Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

••• The Mad Gallery •••

“Kisses Restless as Wildfire” (above) by our repeat featured artist Bill Wolak. To view more of Bill’s mad-nificent canvases, along with our other featured artists, visit our Gallery at!

••• The Poetry Forum •••

This last week in Mad Swirl’s Poetry Forumwe made no wish on snake or fish; we had our say on self-made take away; we declared our independence, all wrapped in your resplendence; we tried filling silence with sound, got it the other way around; we extolled poetry, the beauty in making it (hoping inside we’re not dilettantes, faking it); we climb the ladder, rung by rung, would skip a few, to speak god’s tongue; we donned a coat, a tattered cover, handed down from one to other. We are clothed in our company, formed from our family. Selah! ~ MH Clay

Father’s Tattered Coat by Johnny Olson

Father’s hand-me-down coat

sits heavily upon slouching shoulders.
Weights in its’ tatters.
Slows the maneuvers of
the son’s wayward feet.
Weaving down midnight’s pathways…

He, burdened with what
was never asked for.
This coat, he inherited.

After too many years,
the son’s tailor hands
and artisan’s care altered
the too long sleeves,
darned the moth eaten pockets,
sewed the weather beaten collar,
reinforced the cuffs with
leather and wool.

He keeps out the cold now,
shivers no more.
Yet suffers in summer heat
in beads of sweat and tears.
But still, he wears
father’s hand-me-down coat.

With the humbled pride
of a rehab’d hobo
who has finally accepted his lot,
he is his father’s son.

And now, with care,
father’s coat hangs right there,
biding its’ time
to be handed down again.

February 27, 2016

editors note: The magic, mythical family mantle, passed from pater to progeny – perpetually. (read another one of our Founder & Chief Editor’s mad missives on his page; a real squirrel hunt – check it out!) – mh clay

a sign of getting older by J.J. Campbell

i find
for the


to me
in high

February 26, 2016

editors note: God-speak as a second language? Can’t find that in the classifieds. – mh clay

SO LIQUID! by Saloni Kaul

Like words fixed in time on empty page,
Some images tucked away that only we see,
The mind that writes sees all at every stage
And streamlines all till taken is all space free.

A blank sheet, like a pretty face, beckons
Intelligence to give it life, calls for pen’s gold
And the writer a tale to tell that reckons
It’s time for beauty hid to be extolled.

Keeping old fleeting dreams tidily at bay
To get on with the act, there’s a purpose implied;
There’s scarcely any point procrastinating day
When the sun’s overpowering as perfume or high tide.

At such times one wonders, is endeavouring the essence,
When poetry spontaneous has so liquid an omnipresence.

February 25, 2016

editors note: We are soaked in our grasping; trying to swim or, at least, tread water. – mh clay

August Journal: Saturday, August 10, 2013 by Don Mager

The sky lays dim slate above the trees.
Looming silhouettes breathe in blackness.
Air exhales cool damp silence. Stillness
in the trees echoes cool silence back.
A few lone Cicadas call from edge
to edge. Their erratic dry clicking
makes the shape of silence palpable
like, just before a song begins, breath’s
intake holds the upbeat. Out of
the silence, as awareness takes shape,
crossing by crossing, a train’s bleak howl
approaches. Silence holds its breath. It
waits the train to pass the street end. It
forgets to breathe. It goes back inside.

February 24, 2016

editors note: Silence occupies all vacancies, but pays no rent. – mh clay

Mother triangle by Patricia Qi

with your head tilted slightly and your eyes closed
you listen to my independence declaration which you
have a suspicion lies anchored in your existence you wait
for the future hope someday to witness her when the time
comes reach for my hand and face the heat waves together

complete space roll up sometimes
wistful to complete anything yet
together with you
my thoughts touch the rim of the sun
run through my veins it feels
like a light itching as if something angular
makes its way through my perception to breathe
the mother triangle turns over her every face
restlessly she tries to bear the right version of me

from your mouth I arrived behind this desk the lamp
glows the November day bleak and you repeat with
self-destructive logic it’s not all that bad you balance
above the figure that once cast your body without
virulence I hear your words and think of history of
helpful anonymous romantics of death no longer
hidden from your life defied

February 23, 2016

editors note: It’s not so much the face we show as it is the face they see. – mh clay

Poem 5/23/15 by Joseph Elenbaas

We are so
perfectly lonely.

We forgive
pulling on a wishbone

standing in the corner
of the kitchen.

The faltering
zen of epigrams

land with wonder
at your chest.

Who can make me
when there is nobody

to take away
from me?

February 22, 2016

editors note: Only one thief can steal self-confidence. – mh clay

when you tell us the next lie by Ayoola Goodness Olanrewaju

when you tell us the next lie
remember we know a snake from a fish
and the truth is not a costly buy
when you tell us the next lie.

to chase the stars is not a do or die
this heart knows it is a wish from a wish
when you tell us the next lie
remember we know a snake from a fish.

when you tell us the next lie
remember we know a snake from a fish
and a laughter near from a far cry
when you tell us the next lie.

to bridge a truth a lie cannot make a tie
this heart knows to eat stars is of a patient dish
when you tell us the next lie
remember we know a snake from a fish.

when you tell us the next lie
remember we know a snake from a fish
and a tsetse from a house-fly
when you tell us the next lie.

to mix a truth a lie makes a true-lie
for we know the good from a pile of rubbish
when you tell us the next lie
remember we know a snake from a fish.

February 21, 2016

editors note: To constant true-lie (snake or fish), “We’ve stopped listening!” – mh clay

••• Short Stories •••

Need-a-Read? Do we have a hot and steamy story for you this week! Be aware: This tantalizing tale is not for the uptight and/or prudish. “Permission Slip” by Ty Vossler tip-toes on the fine line of erotica yet it also has a big ol’ heart on it!

Here’s what Short Story Editor Tyler Malone has to say about this pick-of-the-week story: “Decide! We all do it, either with our bodies or our brains. We decide to share ourselves. Only the luckiest have a conversation about opening their body for someone else–a stranger, a friend, or vermin.”

Here’s a tasty teaser to get your own heart on:

(image: “The Dance” by featured artist William Zuback)

I, __________, do hereby grant permission for my wife, Lucia Lopez-Costner, to have discreet sexual adventures with other men (or women) provided she agrees to the following terms and conditions:

1. Lucia agrees to have protected sex unless provided with current STD test results.

2. Lucia agrees to make clear that their business is strictly for pleasure, and nothing else can or will develop as a result.

3. Lucia will choose partners carefully—no coworkers or such that may cause future conflict. Absolute discretion is imperative.

4. Lucia agrees to share with husband, Wyler, about each adventure before or immediately after it has taken place, so that their healthy, honest relationship will be preserved.

5. Lucia’s signature on this document infers that her husband (Wyler) is also bound to the above terms and conditions should he choose to have sex outside of marriage.

I, __________, do hereby agree to the terms and conditions listed above.

Date: _____

After reading the terms, Lucia returned the permission slip to the nightstand next to the bed. Our daughter, Rita, was at preschool and my beautiful Mexican wife and I had taken a rare morning off from work to partake in a good old-fashioned uninterrupted lovemaking session. We lay side-by-side, kissing and slowly undressing each other.

I loved the way her short, dark hair framed her face—those lovely almond-shaped eyes and her full lips. Her body was short, compact, thick around the thighs, and swollen tummy from child birth. Still, she had an undeniable aura of sensuality that didn’t go unnoticed by other men. As Lucia pulled away from a long kiss she asked, “Should I sign?”…

If you’ve hung this long, you best get the rest of your tease on right here!

••• Mad Swirl Open Mic •••

Join Mad Swirl & Swirve the 1st Wednesday of March (aka 03.02.16) as we continue to swirl up our open mic madness at our NEW Open Mic home, The Underpass Bar!

This month we feature Poet Quinten Collier all the way from the Rocky Mountain HIGH state of Colorado. A Contributing Poet to Mad Swirl since 2010, Quinten will be reading from his new collection Chem Trails, as well as some of his newer works this next first-Wednesday.

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!


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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