The Best of Mad Swirl : 04.09.16

by April 9, 2016 2 comments

“A frenzied passion for art is a canker that devours everything else.” ~ Charles Baudelaire

••• The Mad Gallery •••

“Gothic Tree Sky” (above) by featured artist Chuck Taylor. This one will close out Chuck’s feature showing but we bet he’ll be back with more snaps sooner than later! Til then, to view more of Chuck’s mad snaps, along with our other featured artists, visit our Gallery at!

••• The Poetry Forum •••

This last week in Mad Swirl’s Poetry Forumwe greeted poets fond, speaking by a lily pond; we planted in a pot of timeless sleep; we cut to the core of a faceless bore; we caught a cat, eyes open, lips chapped; we bullied by the spider to the fly; we ran in the race of the closed (still open) case; we ourselves did see by St. Martin’s tree. Birds, blue sky – all with words to tickle our eye. Read and blink, read some more… ~ MH Clay

The Tree at St Martin’s by Trier Ward

I’m in the trenches,
on the streets.
I’m smelling shit
and smelling feet-
but the eyes that look
out at me are the
most beautiful
I’ve ever seen.
They are crazed and bright –
looking past the sores
on her face –
looking past the hood
of her dirty coat.
God, I think there
is shit caked on her back!
I think I am going to gag.
But she is a human being.
Maybe born on a
bright spring day
into clean sheets.
No, I’m not going to gag.
I’m not going to leave.
I’m going to stay here
and say how are you today
I will help feed her like
I came here to do.
Not look at her funny.
Not pass a single judgement.
Because who the fuck am I?
I’m a derelict poet.
Am I better because
I’m educated?
So recently sober?
Because I smell good today?
No I’m not better in anyway.
God brought me to this
exact same place.
A humble grateful place
where like
a tree I will grow from
this shit, dirt, and rot-
where I will use my
energy and strength to
send down roots and reach
out branches and so will
my compassion
for every human being grow-
The dirtiest
The smallest
The loneliest
The most desperate
until I reach the sun.

April 9, 2016

editors note: Every person is a mirror; every mirror tells the truth. Take a long, hard look; she dares us. – mh clay

Closed Case by James Brown

Get down, Got-Dam it’s a homicide forty-eight hours, murder case still subsists, fatal blow incited from the inside, proof easily unlawfully baptized and we the people darker in color are capsized by an unsociable justice system with a breed of unlawful bobbies turning homicide into a hobby.

Cold day…….

Cold hearted…….

Cold chase…….

Closes the case on an unlawful murder rate, new wave modern way of hate, fuck the debate, we the people are ghosts in plain site they assassinate, that’s the mandate, remember these names and dates

Medgar Evers, 1964…….

Fred Hampton, 1968…….

Harry and Harriette Moore, 1951…….

Malcom X, 1965…….

Martin L. King, 1968…….

Now can you relate?

Closed case.

April 8, 2016

editors note: The blind lady’s scale tips to the twitchy trigger finger. – mh clay

Bullies and the Wimp by Donal Mahoney

They laugh at him
because he’s weak
by their standards
but they don’t realize

they’ve signed a
contract with him,
a lifetime guarantee
for recompense.

It will be fulfilled
perhaps tomorrow or
maybe on a wedding day
or years from now at

the funeral of a loved one
when they’re as vulnerable
as he appears to be
and for the moment is

but they don’t realize
the spider in its web
looks slow to any fly
circling overhead.

April 7, 2016

editors note: Minimize your deficit with a healthy respect for all. – mh clay

ichor by Andrew Chmielowiec

from my mother, i learned
to be the cat
at the top of the stairs

to lick my lips chapped,
and how to heal them;

to speak less, say more.

i learned a lifetime
of bracing yourself for impact
leaves permanent indentations
in the steering wheel,
handle bars,
your wrists,

and every mark
is a badge of honor,
on your face,
in your palms,
deep in the pit of your stomach,

if you wear it so.

i learned that oranges
are meant to be peeled slowly;

that a watched pot will boil,
but everybody’s afraid
to take the time to see it,


that somewhere,
right now,
the sun is rising
without ever needing to move.

April 6, 2016

editors note: Patience and positivity. Yes! – mh clay

Apple-Face Speaks by Neil Fulwood

(after Magritte)

This is not an apple.
I am not wearing a suit.
You are mistaken
about the bowler hat.

Whether this is a canvas
and I am paint
is open to discussion
but only when

you’re ready to admit
this is not a poem,
you are not a reader
and – empirically –

I do not have a face.

April 5, 2016

editors note: This is not a spastic, ekphrastic poem. Nice! (Inspired by the picture, Son of Man, by Rene Magritte – check it out.) – mh clay

You, the Potted Plant and Me by Curtis Emery

What tree
what pebble
what peak

what lake what silvered

what fleck of ash, what potted plant.

These things move with me
through time
and remind me of my death.

What morning
what noon
what coming of age what dusk
what seasons of fields of fleece.

All these things time keeps—
what fragile light, what timeless sleep.

April 4, 2016

editors note: What? What! – mh clay


(on reading Gregory Corso’s poem – Hello)

I return to Lily Pond again

meet myself

the oval mirror of my mind

say hello

once more

a sweet rendezvous

the sacred garden

say hello

say hello

the soothing waters

say hello

the familiar stranger



rushing slowly

the mirror of glittering reflections

the center of my chimerical omphalos


the oval mirror

return to Lily Pond

sit with the Beat Poets

Corso, Kerouac, & Ginsberg,
phantom companions

my inner landscape,
a necessary illusion

the flowing opalescence

my brainwaves

the rebel-ghost Corso


leaps toward Lily Pond

shrieks hello

his raw visionary voice

a hole

my dream-mind


metaphysical malaise

I say hello

the echo chamber of my dreamscape

say hello hello hello

meet myself again

whisper in sweet susurrations –

Who am I?

shriek soundlessly –

Who am I?

a dust devil

an unholy silence screams –

Who am I?

my swirling nowhere –

my everlasting existential question –

Who am I?
Who am I?
Who am I?

unending shadow of a shadow

my phantom

follows me to Lily Pond

the rebel-ghost Corso

at his fathomless fragile self,

a wounded deer,

his trauma his truth a bestial shattering

at Lily Pond

the Brooklyn College campus

summer 1965

I gaze into the mirror of my mind

touch the broken glass of

the merciless shattering

the self

hear shards of my apocalyptic past

into my mutilated eyes

I mourn all I have lost all that is gone

all who have died
I mourn all the death I carry inside

I say hello hello hello

a Brooklyn rendezvous with myself

Lily Pond
while sitting with the Beat Poets

I say hello

April 3, 2016

editors note: “I don’t know why you say goodbye, I say hello” – mh clay

••• Short Stories •••

Need-a-Read? And do we got quite the read to feed your need today. Be aware, this one might make you think & just might cause some internal debate. But that’s what we’ve come to expect from Contributing Writer and Poet, Donal Mahoney.

Here’s what Short Story Editor Tyler Malone had to say about “Dr. Chapman’s Insight”: “Life is life. It goes on and on, by the will of living, by the hands of death.”

Here’s a dose of this medicine to get ya goin’:

photo by Tyler Malone

Dr. Chapman had been valedictorian of his class in high school and college but had finished second in his class in medical school, something that still bothered him after 30 years of successful practice in a small city. Many patients traveled from all over the state to see him.

Over the years, he had hired a number of practical nurses to assist him in his practice and went out of his way to hire those that might have had trouble being hired elsewhere due to discrimination. He was proud of his record and didn’t have much turnover in staff.

Between patients he and his nurses would often discuss weighty topics of the day, delving into difficult subjects such as religion and politics. Most of his nurses had tried at one time or another to get him to vote their way and they always tried to convince him to go to church, even if it wouldn’t be the church any of them attended. Dr. Chapman was always polite but always resisted their efforts…

Don’t stop there! You’ll see why. Here’s where to get the whole story!

••• Mad Swirl Open Mic •••

(Photo courtesy of Rosie Lindsey. To see more of her mad mic pics, check out here FB page here)

Oh what a night it was in the land of Swirl’n mic Mad-ness this past 1st Wednesday! Mad Swirl Open Mic was honored to feature Dallas singer/songwriter Kelly Nygren! Her groove sure moved us in the most mad-licious of ways. Her smooth smokey blues are still echoin’ in our mad minds…

Thanks to all who came out to The Underpass & shared in this collective delicious madness. What a night of the beat-utifullest poetry and music it was! Here’s a shout out to all who graced us with their words, their songs, their divine madnesses…

Johnny O
MH Clay

Kelly Nygren

Gerard Bendiks
Chris Curiel
Tamitha Curiel

Mad Cast:
Chris Zimmerly
Desmene M. Statum
Carlos Salas
Maggie Smith
Sean Gregory Buttram aka “TA2”
David Crandall
Opalina Salas
Rob Dyer aka “David Parham”
Cj Critt
James Barrett Rodehaver aka “Bear the Poet”
Jen Bochenko
Jay Gomez aka “Holiday”
Paul Sexton
Nadia Wolnisty
Harry McNabb
Anthony X Haynes
Tom Bannon
Gabe Mamola
Anthony Harris

HUGE thanks to Swirve for keeping the beat til the wee hours of the night. We got taken to another dimension of time and space on the wings of their jazzy madness!

Thanks to Mike & Leo at The Underpass for opening up this fine establishment to us mad ones and making us feel right at home.

And finally we would like to thank ALL of you who freely shared their hand claps, finger-snaps, hoots and howls with all the mad ones who got up on this sacred mad swirlin’ mic.

P.S. Comin’ Up May 4th: Next month we feature Mad Swirl Poetry Editor, Poet, Playwright, Actor, Musician, mad co-conspirator, and all-around top-notch soul… (catch breath)… MH Clay! Join us as we launch his new book, Angst! He’ll be joined by the musical madmen of Earthlinger and Angst Artist, Jeff Skele Sheely! Come join all of us as we experience a Mad Angstful Rant! And buy you a book of this mad-licious collab-creation


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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