The Best of Mad Swirl : 05.21.16

by on May 21, 2016 :: 0 comments

“What beauty is, I know not, though it adheres to many things.” ~ Albrecht Durer

••• The Mad Gallery •••

“toxic” (above) by featured artist Jeff Skele Sheely. To view more of Jeff’s twisted beatific images, as well as our other featured artists, visit our Gallery at!

••• The Poetry Forum •••

This last week in Mad Swirl’s Poetry Forumwe watched from above the blossom of natural love; we possessed no ordinary – starling swarms, mutant rodents, all extraordinary; we changed our expectations of snow bird manifestations; we let not love cease for the girl we gave gruff peace; we played the fool to the base of the gene pool; we lost all tolerance for “geldings,” provocateurs of violence; we found some grace for those who fall. Falling is something we know, all. Take heed… ~ MH Clay

WHEN I FALL by Helen Harrison

Why is it that the path
Has to mist before
We see ourselves,

Cracks and roots exposed
To an empty ditch
To reveal a broken stem;

Vulnerable, collapsing
Covered in isolation
And open to pain.

Maybe it is necessary for us
To suffer occasionally –
For compassion to remain;

Like a stunted tree, a trapped
Fly, before we can see
Through another’s eye.

My path has been mostly clear
Or as far as I can see
Alone, but never lonely.

Not intentionally
Do I fail to notice
A troubled mind,

If you fail to see me
When my mist approaches.
I won’t think you unkind.

May 21, 2016

editors note: Yes, it takes pain to know pain; Compassion 101. (We welcome Helen to our crazy conclave of Contributing Poets with this submission. Read more of her madness on her new page.) – mh clay

ALUMNI #137 by Darren C. Demaree

How much time do you get
for threatening politicians

with more books of poetry
that call them “motherfuckers”

& “geldings”? I was hoping
I would at least get a vague

threat from some Koch thugs
for that collection. That book

brought me no response
& that was violent to my ego.

May 20, 2016

editors note: If they read what we write for them, no violence. – mh clay

One of the Bigs by Ryan Quinn Flanagan

There was this recent study published
by one of the “bigs”
that claimed there was a direct correlation
between intelligence and sexual activity

which made everyone mad
because it suggested that the smarter you are
the less likely you were to be sexually active

implying conversely
that people having lots of sex
with more than one partner
were less intelligent

and having it with those
of a lesser intelligence

producing offspring that
well, you guessed it…

which explains a lot

if you have ever tried to navigate
a Walmart parking lot on a Saturday
three weeks before

May 19, 2016

editors note: We seek a happy medium; sexy and smart. – mh clay

To Evie by Daniel Wade

O girl with arms open to the sunset,
Perhaps you belong to a gentler time
Where little provision existed for regret
Or the beastly memento of a crime
That I would bury from the dawn’s sight
In numb, February soil, and cower
From your disillusion, your eyes’ fine art.
Because my first taste of love was sour,
I let caution preside over the heart,
Leaving you to navigate this urban maze,
Where, in rush hour’s heated cough,
Headlights slice shadows, forked light tongues
Bridges, the sun beats its flammable hoof.
The canal bank is unshaven with yellow reeds,
Benches wear rust like an unsavoury crown.
Yet nature’s chequered framework lives on here,
Exhaling the leaves’ cool dialect into my ear:
O Mo chroi, corazon, inamorata, loved one.
I wave aside the smoke of commandment,
And the mirror of reparation cracks
By your tongue’s mellow writhing in my mouth,
The dark, droll dance of your eyelash.
O girl against whom I’ve held a gruff peace,
Should my eyes soak up all reassurance,
Or the voice that sung to you falls still,
Then may these words attest love’s burden,
Allowing our lives to once again be filled.

May 18, 2016

editors note: Getting over and through to get in. – mh clay

Penguin… by Paul Hellweg

penguin in a tree
live without expectations
more sunshine to find

May 17, 2016

editors note: Heed this advice and, when we see one, we won’t be surprised. – mh clay

No Ordinary (Mutant Rodents of the Third kind) by Polly Richardson (Munnelly)

Damp earth marinated with spruce mulch, waft and console
sinking roots in waves under silence stars,
Synchronized turning bodies roll – inhale.

Ghosts of bullocks mooing and welly-boots
jump hoops in windy whiskey seas,
And I’m white horse flying, flying till
Starlings awaken with rising sun, again;
like herds of mini elephants cracking bark
bursting eves of this creaking house to life.
No ordinary,

Nestling upon nestling disperse sleep, dreamy hooves
and his shouts of ‘get off tracks, train’s coming’
as he moves in between snores then spoons,
Even in slumber he saves this stubborn soul
No ordinary man.

Heavy eyes remain
roll in lids longing to doze.

I possess no ordinary (so I’m told)
In mind, in body.
Perhaps obsessions
of marvel explain gnawing disappointing pangs felt;
it’s not Mutant Rodents of the Third kind
or meta-human left behind by old Doctor who walked these aged floors
or The Flash in bird form vastly splashing shit bombs perfectly launched
when cat leaves by back or front door,

But extraordinary feathered spite fire Starlings – the mothering fathers stealing my dreams.
Ah still, there’s always the phantom phone ringing!
No ordinary
Spine tingling chill.

May 16, 2016

editors note: Extraordinary images to tingle ordinary spines. – mh clay

Natural Love by Manon Williams

Our love so natural.
So warm and comforting to my soul.

The way we look into each others eyes, but see only the colors of our souls and admire it for hours as if staring at a mind twisting masterpiece in the very center of an art gallery.

The way we look at each other as if staring into glass, nothing can be hidden. Yet also as if we were looking into a mirror at ourselves.

The way we trust each other knowing that this glass mirror can be as a deadly as the poison of love that once kissed the lips of Romeo and Juliet.

The way we sit in silence among the whispering winds as if they were whispering sweet love letters into our ears.

The way my smile becomes yours, and the way your smile becomes mine.

The way you trace every stretch mark and imperfection written upon my skin with your fingers like a continuing story, as if you were following the road to heaven, admiring every inch.

The way our chocolate brown skin melts together from the warmth of our hearts and we can no longer distinguish where my skin starts and where yours ends.

Our love so natural, as if it were meant to be. So warm and comforting to my soul.

May 15, 2016

editors note: Doing what comes naturally; a comfort indeed. – mh clay

••• Short Stories •••

Happy Need-a-Read Day! Then you’ve “swiped in the right direction”. And if you get that reference you’ll dig this week’s pick of the week, “Internet Dating” by Contributing Writer & Poet, Carl Kavadlo.

Here is what Short Story Editor Tyler Malone had to say this week’s pick… “Play people like we play music. They’ll dance to it, too. They’ll sway to the art of lies: the way art lies.”

Here’s a teasin’ wink:

(photo “I’ll Steal Your Eyes” – above – by Tyler Malone aka The Second Shooter)

Mick went out that evening. There was the Purity Restaurant over on 7th Street and 7th Avenue. Mick was a little down on his luck, figured 7, 11…dice, numbers like that.

Walked into The Purity. The place used to be owned by a couple of Greeks and is now owned by a couple of Italians. It also relocated from Union and 7th recently in 2005 to 7th and 7th, changed the marquee from the color green to the color purple. The new sign is smaller than the older one.

Mick noticed a brunette woman, early 30’s, winking at him. The room was small. He could see her from the entrance at the back table on the left by the large plate glass window on the 7th Street side.

The luck was running for Mick. He walked over, slid out a chair, sat down, smiled, and faced her.

‘Mick?’ she said.

Before he could answer, she said, ‘I’m Ramona.’

Being a testosterone-fueled guy, Mick was ready to take his chances now.

‘Yeah,’ he said. ‘Hi, Ramona.’

‘You’re cuter than your picture on the internet,’ she said.

‘So are you.’

He wondered if that was an appropriate answer.

She blushed…

This tale sure has some chemistry! Gwt the rest of your tease on here!


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…

Stickin’ & Movin’,

Johnny O
Chief Editor

MH Clay
Poetry Editor

Tyler Malone
Short Story Editor

Madelyn Olson
Visual Editor

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