The Best of Mad Swirl : 04.30.16

by April 30, 2016 0 comments

“Everything starts as somebody’s daydream.” ~ Larry Niven

••• The Mad Gallery •••

“Saint Francis at Northpark” (above) by featured artist Maria Valentina Sheets. To view more of Maria’s beatific works, as well as our other featured artists, visit our Gallery at!

••• The Poetry Forum •••

This last week in Mad Swirl’s Poetry Forumwe wet dry thoughts with green and water; we traded Byron for balls, but still loved it all; we embraced our beast in a free fall feast; we grabbed a piece of light on lease; we flew fancies in fours and fives; we walked a cold road in the vertex of snow; we wrestled our demon for love from our ghost. Yes! Robin must love. ~ MH Clay

Chatting to a spirit in the garden by Michael Holme

I can’t hear you
calling my name anymore.
It used to be as fresh as dew
from my breath;
a stream
dried up in silence now.

The panics have gone.
I sleep nights without sudden
sprung awakenings.

Forgive me,
I’ve moved my wedding ring.
Who would want me
with mind and body unfit
and with no capacity to provide?

Lucy puzzles me.
She didn’t seem to recognise you
in the home where you passed.
She’s missed you before;
on your long infections absence.
She’s only a dog.

What would we be doing
now it’s summer again?
selling up?
living in Morocco,
drinking gallons of mint tea in Marrakesh?
Joking, my parents wouldn’t bless that.

Incidentally, I didn’t go to church today. I might
have fallen out with them again.
I’m trying to accept
we all share this destiny,
but I’m only forty-five.

We’ve had a robin and a wren
nesting this year. I sit outside
watching the parents.
They fetch grubs.
I wish you could see them.
Maybe you’re here
a second ahead?

You’re listening.
For the first time
I don’t feel odd about being alone:
hope it’s Okay,
I’ve got a “Bestie” on Facebook,
like a sister you understand.

I’ve still got my problem with work:
honesty. I can’t present
a mask, it leads to pain.
Love should ALWAYS trust.
It’s not easy when everyone
is happy to kick sand
in your sun-blistered face.

Robin keeps landing on the washing-line;
a silhouette against a cloudless sky.
Even planes leave no trace.
He’s been eighteen inches away
once or twice.

Robin must love.

April 30, 2016

editors note: We all have ghosts to catch up with our time. – mh clay

What Does A Vertical Line Form by Bhargab Chatterjee

the morning
is snow white,
only snow.
grass blades
are as dead
as her skin,
converge at the corner
of the nearest road;
other roads
have merged
with the dense forest.
measure me
from the nearest road.
i know,
the distance
remains in the vertex

below snow.

April 29, 2016

editors note: The shortest distance between two points is too cold. – mh clay

Haikus 1 & 2 by Shirin Hasrat

Haiku #1

Thunderous clouds
Flashes of lightning
God taking selfies

Haiku #2

Leaves gossiping
Breeze spreading rumours
Storm in a tea cup

April 28, 2016

editors note: Then post both to social media (thumbs up, smiley face). – mh clay

Dark fortnight by Hem Raj Bastola

Is hindered
In my garden.
Waxed by winter
Freezing so pale.

A furrow…
Did plough
In the ocean of my heart
And the current
An electric shock…

My eyes are blind
Meteor from the heaven
And galaxies not seen
None of the milky ways

It is so dark.
And dark
Where is the light
You took on lease.
Goblet of your dew

In a dark fortnight
How am I to satiate
My thirst…
Without your face.

April 27, 2016

editors note: Spring; sprung in slow sips from a light goblet. – mh clay

Feast by Ursula Barretta

The restless thrill of living
blasts into my face
like a funnel drops from an Oklahoma wall cloud
and wind sucks the breath out
of my lungs and thrusts me on my back.

I’m new then as my tired body slips away
like a snake sheds skin
as I see the earth around me.
I thank god or Anybody for the feast before me.
What does one do with this dangling on the edge –
this free fall of wanting to
feed ravenously on the world?
I eat like a wild animal –
devouring warm flesh,
crunching bones and licking fat,
spitting out sinew until
there is nothing left to rot or pilfer
and in the end
I am mindful not to choke
on the enormity
of such a big catch.

April 26, 2016

editors note: Those newest to the feast feed fastest. So much to swallow, so much to taste. – mh clay

Takeoff by John May

Suppose I spelled “LOVE”
On your bare stomach in cocaine
And quoted Lord Byron?
I mean, I don’t have another bump to my name,
And I’ve memorized Byron
Like I’ve memorized the wrinkles on my balls…

But the love is still there, right?

It’s all that we have left,
And we’ll trip our faces off on that stuff
Raving through the night
Until our swirling hearts
Separate like grease and water…

Love for years and years or
Love for three hours, forty minutes, and
A fifth of Bacardi:
I love it all because I love you.
Monday’ll still come,
Even if the flight is cancelled,
And I’ll still take off from
That airport, where blue lights
out the small window, past the wings,
Mean goodbye for now.

April 25, 2016

editors note: An erstwhile philandering Lothario with love in his heart and frequent flyer miles to log. – mh clay

Shall I wait for dawn to come by Ilhem Issaoui

Shall I wait for dawn to come
And bring his fragrance
To the thoughts dry
Like a jejune land
The night is amarulent
Cacophony penetrates it
I shall close the eyes
Perhaps, tomorrow
There shall be green and water

April 24, 2016

editors note: Dry night, dry pages. Bring a wet day, like ink and tears. – mh clay

••• Short Stories •••

Happy Need-a-Read Day! This week’s featured twisted tale of love comes to us from the land down under by the hand of WJP Newnham.

Here’s Short Story Editor Tyler Malone’s take on “In Vino Veritas”:

‘These are the moments at the tips of our fingers, on the tips of our tongues. Uncork, undress, find yourself exposed and drink.’

If that editorial commentary didn’t grab ya’ where it counts, here’s even more of a tease for ya:

(photo “Future Drunk Love” – above – by Tyler Malone aka The Second Shooter)

I hit the bell boy up for breath mints and on the way up to the bar in the lift and finger combed my hair and repeated my drunken mantra which I believed would allow clear speech:

A proper cup of coffee from a Proper copper coffee pot A proper cup of coffee from a proper Copper coffee pot A proper cup of coffee. I hit the bar and ordered myself a bracer.

She didn’t take much locating: she was the only woman in the deserted bar. She sat by herself at the end of the bar.

I drink my bracer and take her in searching for an opening line, a gambit, some leverage that will allow her to see beyond the human Hesperus that I had seen whilst attempting to groom myself in the mirrored lift. I order another bracer and this time tell the bartender that I would like to meet the lady at the end of the bar. He agrees to book introductions conditional on a fine bottle of wine, suggesting an Australian vintage: ‘05 Grampians Shiraz. He winks at me as he quickly précised a review for me with full-bodied and perfumed given innuendo. I agree and he opens a bottle for her explaining that it was from the gentleman who wished only some convivial conversation.

She puts down the novel she had been reading as the barman brokers the suggestion of booking with a fresh drink. She looks to me and smiles and gestures that I should join her.

She smiles again as I seat myself next to her and raising glasses we toast each other with cheers; clinking rims and drinking deeply…

If you think you know how the rest of this drunken love story goes, guess again. It’s a thicker tale than you may think. Get the rest of your read at Mad Swirl!

••• Open Mic •••

Join Mad Swirl & Swirve this 1st Wednesday of May (aka 05.04.16) as we continue to swirl up our mic madness at our mad micness home, Dallas’ badass The Underpass Bar!

This month we feature poetry editor, poet, playwright, actor, musician, mad co-conspirator, and all-around top-notch soul…MH Clay! Join MH & musical guest Earthlinger as we celebrate the release of the newest publication by Mad Swirl Press, ANGST

(ANGST is 40 pages of poetry by MH swirled up with art by Jeff Skele Sheely. Come join us and experience this “Mad ANGST-full Rant!” and buy you a limited & numbered edition of this mad-licious collab-creation)

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 Open Mic. Come to participate. Come to appreciate. Come to swirl-a-brate!

P.S. If you’re on Facebook, get on the pre-list at our event page.


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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