The Best of Mad Swirl : 05.07.16

by May 7, 2016 0 comments

“Imagination is the eye of the soul.” ~ Joseph Joubert

••• The Mad Gallery •••

“Two Dagger Tony” (above) by featured artist Jeff Skele Sheely.

Mad Swirl is mighty proud to introduce you to our newest featured artist, Jeff Skele Sheely! Jeff brings us colorful collections of chaos – all perfectly portrayed in the patterned faces of often grumpy (or at least totally uninterested) characters. Skele’s use of color and line, his attention to detail and the otherworldly subjects in his works of art are all reasons alone to love these manic masterpieces. And yet still, there seems to be something more, something deeper to them – that our eyes just can’t get enough of. A certain something that we think you need to see for yourself. So step right up and enter the twistedly dark yet colorfully hopeful world of mad contradictions from Jeff Skele Sheely! ~ Madelyn Olson

To view more our other featured artists, visit our Gallery at!

••• The Poetry Forum •••

This last week in Mad Swirl’s Poetry Forumwe sought to embrace a shivering heat, in a rained out theater with front row seats; we sucked love’s lemon, turned sour to sweet; we dickered with the devil for depraved sleep; we got nothing to get in old regret; we bunker birthed an indigent life, not beast nor blessing, absent midwife; we saw a seductress in search of story; we fondled our fit to the primal tit. Suckling infants all we are. ~ MH Clay

Tits by Becci Goodall

look at my tits
look at them
they’re wired to my brain
and i’m a logical person
i get it I do
so look go on
get it over with and look
ya happy now?
you are aren’t you?
i’ve done my homework
my rand my freud
my green eggs and ham
i do I like them sam I am
i like me some tits
with my green eggs and ham
i like me some study tits
the philosophy of tits 101
thank you doctor wagoner
thank you doctor katz
tits on the velvet couch
thank you jeffy
tits up at the ritz
thank you rich husband
tits on a stick
my god damned tits
shut the fuck up
about my god damned tits
lemme tell ya a story
so there was this guy
with a basket
with a very nice basket
but I got past it
I went straight to his brain
he was the engineer type
all angles and planes
and pencils to draw with
on drafting tables
and sometimes poetry
and that lasted for a good solid
mother fucking week
until I said why do you like me
and he said oh your tits they
they are amazing
they just stand out
and up and the nipples
the nipples are perfect
the way they move in my hands
like he was sculpting aphrodite
and I said like putty?
like plastic like what?
like the madonna in cathedrals like what?
and he said super sweet and sincere
i’m just a boob man honey
they feel like tits
like really great fucking
great tits that stand out
and then he said i love you
to my tits
and right then i started to appreciate
the power of tits
because bitch I got tits
and I am not your bitch
and these tits
these tits right here
well they fed my babies
these tits right here
well they rocked the cradle
these tits right here
they kept the electric on
they brought home the bacon
they fried it in a pan
and these tits right here
well believe it or not
but these silly fuckin things
have a masters degree
i mean can you really
fucking believe that shit?
and lemme tell ya somethin else
these tits right here fed jesus
these tits right here fed ghandi
these tits right here fed
a god damned revolution

May 7, 2016

editors note: Tits without end, amen. – mh clay

The Wild Women of Wongo by Ace Boggess

Jaywall Productions,
Wolcott Productions, 1958

Watch the dragon priestess dance,
aware in the passion sense
she celebrates the god she sees,
spasmodic as at a party on the beach.
“Dance,” she says. “Dance!”
An orgy of motion erases what stories
fur-clad forms were drawn to tell.
Bodies shake, twist, pulse like pricks
in the endgame. Omoo, ginger princess,
sates lust from her knees. Holy,
holy: bacchanal of forgiveness prayers.
I savor my times observing from distance
a woman boogying when she feels it,
wears the music like a tender pair of hands.
Here, it’s more like eavesdropping
from outside the confessional,
close enough to hear the guilt,
repentance & release, yet not
in time for the nitty-gritty,
so nothing like a story’s in the way.

May 6, 2016

editors note: Nitty-gritty now, story later. – mh clay

Midwives Wanted by Santosh Kalwar

Whoever challenges freaks should notice
that in the method he does not mature into a beast.
If you stare too deep into a depression,
she also stares into you.
Bedtime, the foundation of a smashed house
atomic bomb orphans blubbering in the shade
not a sole light between them
the fragrance of lifeblood
the redolence of separation
the sickly-sweet fume of declining mankind
the moans the sorrows.
Out of all that, abruptly, miraculously, screams:
“The baby is moving inside the belly.”
“Is the Baby coming out?”
In the diabolical bunker, startlingly,
a juvenile mommy had undergone stress.
In the darkness, lacking a matchstick,
clambering to her side,
overlooking their own.

May 5, 2016

editors note: Miscreant madonna bears child in concrete creche as indigents look on. – mh clay

Regrets by MH Clay

Gently lift the quivering quelled
Slowly peel the shivering shell
Expose the wound
Raw revealed
The hurt inflicted
Mercy appealed
But not granted

Pain long borne
Long dulled, forgotten
Actions bent
And misbegotten
Scars, bled badges
Spoils spent
Benefits rotten
Wizened wisps of smoke
Long smoldering
Now stanched

The air is dank
And thick
The deeds darkened
No more quick
The rain-washed slick
No more
The light of avarice and greed

What’s dead is dead

Now, move on

Or be still

May 4, 2016

editors note: We can wallow in our sorrows but in the end all we get is a whole lot of grief & bottomless regrets. Best to do what Poetry Editor MH suggests & move on… ~ Johnny O

Depravity by Mary Bone

The sleep I craved,
Came to those depraved,
Whose thoughts enslaved and engulfed them.
The night wore on, with its own kind of gravity,
Leaving me alone with thoughts of depravity.

May 3, 2016

editors note: These fall asleep counting atrocities; whatever it takes. – mh clay

EACH LEMON by Luis Cuauhtémoc Berriozábal

Each lemon
I bring you
is a rose,
a symbol
of love. I
bring you a
bagful of
lemons. I
bring you eight
or seven.
I lost count.
Each lemon
is a kiss.
It is a
message of
love to you.
I want you
to know that.

May 2, 2016

editors note: When love gives you lemons… – mh clay

Rain On Theatre’s Roof by Kushal Poddar

In the hall next to each other
miles afar we sit and stare
at the screen, so big, bigger
than the wall, world.

Your cold skin hands me
a good fever, and it rains on the screen,
two figures running inside the garden
to find the fountain of clouds.

We forget each other’s name,
forget this theatre is an abandoned one,
gutted years ago. I run inside
the garden of rain, drag you
with me, so much silence crackling,

your hand so far from my reach
and tight in my grip. Who said
anything about madness?

May 1, 2016

editors note: Love fever garden movie (not) madness. – mh clay

••• Short Stories •••

Happy Need-a-Read Day! This week’s featured tale comes to us from Dan “the man” Rodriguez. If that name rings a bell, it’s because Dan is the mad photog who captures our Mad Swirl Open Mic scenes every month. Who woulda thunk that Dan also had a knack for spinning a tale? Mad Swirl did, that’s who!

Here is what Short Story Editor Tyler Malone had to say about Dan’s tasty tale “Smells”… “In an instant, the world can go up in smoke. The only way to rule over the ashes is to be the highest person on the planet.”

Here’s a few tokes of “Smells” to get you buzzin’:

(photo “Jesus Shotgun” – above – by Tyler Malone aka The Second Shooter)

Working at home, I decided to take a smoke break. I started a doobie and after what seemed like hours and my coffee smell stale I decided to go out and get a beer. At 7-11, I smelled hotdogs so I got the twofer, it was getting to be lunch time after all. I added some onions some mustard and some of that smooth flowing chili and headed on home with my beer and hot dogs.

I was smelling the hot dogs and onions as I drove home and was already savoring the taste. I drove slow to savor, and because cops patrolled this area regularly. on my last left turn towards home I noticed a car coming to the stop sign up ahead. As I made the turn I looked, the car did not stop and speeded up instead of slowing down and hit me head on, engine to engine, our grills smashed.

Out of my car, I waited for the person in the other car—a woman with a glow on her face. Her body seem to tingle with a smile on her face but that was soon gone as she saw what she had done…

Inhale. Hold it. Hold it! Exhale & get the rest of your buzz on right here!

••• Open Mic •••

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 poetry editor, poet, playwright, actor, musician, mad co-conspirator, and all-around top-notch soul… MH Clay & his newest book, ANGST!

(ANGST consists pf 40 pages of poetry by MH Clay swirled up by Mad Swirl Press with art by Jeff Skele Sheely. If you didn’t get you a copy at the open mic, it’s not too late! Find out how to get you a copy here!)

MH Clay and crew put on quite the poetic mad-licious collab-creation! This multi-media’d show highlighted the artwork of Jeff Skele Sheely and was backed by musical guest Earthlinger.

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…

photos courtesy of Dan “the man” Rodriguez

ANGST: MH Clay & Jeff Skele Sheely

Hector Ramirez & David Fargason

Johnny Olson & MH Clay

Gerard Bendiks, Chris Curiel, & Tamitha Curiel

Mad Cast:
Opalina Salas
Sean “Ta2” Buttram
Vic Victory & Phil Brewer
Roderick Richardson
Poppy Xander
Paul Sexton
Suza “Hep Kat Mama” Kanon
Maggie Smith
Brett “BA” Ardoin
Kristine Spinner
Carlos Salas
Jen Bochenko
Kelly Cheek
James “Bear” Rodehaver
Gnadia Wolnisty
Randall Garrett
Christopher Stephen Soden
Harry McNabb
John May
Ely Sellers
David Agasi

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 The Underpass Tavern‘s Mike & Leo 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.

••• Mad Blog •••

ANGST: A New Publication from Mad Swirl Press

We were pleased so many or our local Mad Ones came to The Underpass this week to see the release show for ANGST. But, did you know ANGST is more than a show?

Yes, ANGST is also a book (poetry by MH Clay, art by Jeff Skele Sheely); our latest pub from Mad Swirl Press. If you missed the show, you can buy the book to enjoy your own private read-the-poems-look-at-the-pictures show.

Here’s what a Dallas writer has to say about the poems:

That the wages of witness are poetic is a proposition both certain and surprising. One of the admirable qualities of MH Clay’s ANGST, however, is that, as it surveys the bounteous wasteland of contemporary mores, it resists the silky allure of the evidentiary for (as he images them) the rock, crag and jagged nail of faith. Clawing against the petty and the merciless in all their guises, these poems oppose power with power: the muscle of refrain, the corrosive power of anathema, the simple yet profound grace of “we” and “our.” ~ Joe Milazzo, Writer, Dallas

Here’s what a Dallas artist and gallerist has to say about the art:

Jeff Skele is one hell’uva force to be reckoned with. After coming to my attention just a couple of years ago, I thought ‘Wow, this guy is crazy, busy, nuts, but somehow pulls it all together every time.’ Having shown his works at Kettle Art these past few years, he never ceases to amaze and astound viewers on a regular basis. He naturally exudes creativity and insight to his other worldly being. ~ Frank Campagna, Kettle Art, Dallas

Our good friend and poet, Paul Sexton bought a copy and has this to say about his read of it:

Knowing Michael Clay, I was not surprised that his poems were sharply written pieces of wordplay painting vivid images. Good, solid writing. What did surprise me was an almost counter culture undercurrent. A barely suppressed anger floating just between the lines. It’s not overt, but there is a palpable frustration that the poet has with the culture he finds he must exist in. A social commentary in which the poet shines a light on the world and finds it less than it should be. A theme that I personally can relate to quite a bit. The aptly titled “ANGST” is a short read, and well worth the time. I highly recommend it!

If you would like to buy a copy, $20 plus shipping, email the author directly

We look forward to publishing more books from Mad Swirl Press in the months to come – stay tuned.


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

Leave a Reply