“Do whatever you do intensely.” ~ Robert Henri
••• The Mad Gallery •••
“To Everyone” (above) by featured artist Fabrice Poussin.
Allow us to introduce you to Mad Swirl’s newest featured artist, Fabrice Poussin! Fabrice’s photos exudes quite a dreamy noir vibe. Utilizing shade (like the frail detailed limbs of a tree dancing along the shutters of a building, being my personal favorite), Poussin captures light in a unique way, in a real way, and in that way which you can’t help but feel an unsettling air when you look at them. Much like they’re captured in that fine moment of calm just before the storm. Darkness can be spooky, but something about it can also calm you down, if you let it. Something about Poussin’s work manages to accomplish both. If those kinds of visuals spike your interest, and we’ve got a feeling they do – then click here to see the shadows for yourself. ~ Madelyn Olson
To view more our other featured artists, visit our Gallery at MadSwirl.com!
••• The Poetry Forum •••
This last week in Mad Swirl’s Poetry Forum… we purloined a peak at paradise, a misplaced pearl; we resurrected a rodent; we boinked (we wish) a babe from the Man in Black; we were chilled by a chopper; we tipped a truth topper; we stayed dry in a drenching; we lost poet’s poise in a too big noise; we reveled in romance, a deepening dance. Paradise, again. ~ MH Clay
RACHEL SUITES by Brian Wood
The healing table laid just so. Jug of
Ice water, cooling pleasantly. Two
Different painkillers, both within easy
Reach. TV remote controls, all three
Of them, just to the right.
If you missed any of that, there’s more:
A Nixon book one foot away, easily grasped –
And something else on the Long March
Nearby, on the closest shelf. You can
Tell Rachel was raised by a nurse,
But if you can’t, beneath my healing
Table is a discreet unmarked brown
Love shoots out and manifests itself in
The world as it would. Checking it is like
Checking Niagara Falls; you can do it
But your success would be short-lived
The anesthesiologist who met Rachel knew
She was up against a force. “I can tell….”
She said, trailing off. In my mind I finish
Her thought: “I can tell this woman is,
Despite herself, deeply in love. Nothing
Bad can happen to you while she is here
Or thinking of you. Nothing on earth escapes
This. She will protect you from all fates.
In heaven her light will make stars scarlet
With jealousy. In hell she will draw the shades,
Run the coldest shower, and stand there until your soul
Funny how she could tell all that from your
Eyes, which were bluer than usual and red-shot,
Doing your best to look bored. You could tell
I wanted out, now, and tried to act like I could
Handle it. I couldn’t. I wanted to leave.
How can you fall in love, in summer on the
Prairies, again in Vancouver in fall, all
Over again in Montreal, in a museum
In California, and keep falling, deeper?
Why is holding hands in the hospital
Ratification of what can’t be written down?
June 25, 2016
editors note: Dances of love for what ails you. – mh clay
Too Big a Noise for my Trade by Learnmore Edwin Zvada
I have not the lines to describe the whim of a painter
fashioning a portrait of a kept woman,
nor have I saddled my gaze upon the seesawing
bosom, supple skin’s dimpled rise, the rounds
and turns of a damsel’s posture looming out of a
steamy illustrator’s zoomed lens
How unfortunate it is to be without knowledge
of such a sinuous summation of feminine artwork,
it’s rendered foreign to me, that adverse ineptness
straddling up on my tongue
needless to say, the portrait in itself is an object
of forlorn ambience to the eyes of the escapist,
the one extremist I am inescapably mutating into
It isn’t surprising why my verses maintain that I
have tastes colder than a witch’s ears, unwrapped
to such a cruel set of words, too soon I’m bound to
step aside and let the painter and his paint do what
they think to know best
June 24, 2016
editors note: An eloquent admission of ineptitude. – mh clay
Finality by Sudha Srivatsan
The silence in my head
Grows noisy by the day
Does death die
Or is death immortal?
For it lives forever
Off hearts and souls
Swelling shapely in desire
As each moment gaits by
The canny spider trips over
Settling upturned in its web
To spurt venom
That bathes me
In a ritual of sorts
I lay bewitched
To behold rain drops
Refusing to drench me
June 23, 2016
editors note: A spider-bit soak in the eternal question. – mh clay
TRUTH by Roger G. Singer
Misplaced thoughts are broken stones.
The sides of the road hold treasures
for those walking by. Old newspapers
separate us from yesterday’s tragedies.
Wisdom is born in diners and roadside
Cafes. Painted signs on old barns hold
the innocence of roadside marketing.
Paper hats have character against the sun.
Popsicles were once five cents. Longer
steps will get you there faster, even if you
don’t want to arrive. Birds work the winds
in every season. The eyes never lie.
Everybody’s your friend till the rent comes
June 22, 2016
editors note: Roger’s road-worn realities keep us cruisin’! – mh clay
Knife Skills by Kleio B
She stared at the quarry,
She sharpened the knife.
She ripped off the skin,
After all a stew tastes best;
With onions done well.
June 21, 2016
editors note: A justified killing; no tears for the dead. – mh clay
Street car, Southwest Tenth Avenue, Portland, Oregon by Erren Geraud Kelly
A six foot brunette
Gets on, wearing cut off shorts
And cowboy boots
Rock and roll screamed on various
Parts of her body
As if her milky white skin was too pure
To be defaced
Her legs were as long as the route
We were traveling on
It’s as if Johnny Cash had an affair
With a Goth chick
And this woman was his love child
She’s a train wreck, you can’t take
Your eyes off of, in a good
June 21, 2016
editors note: We’re looking for her on every street car, everywhere. – mh clay
Teenagers in Rural Ohio by Adam Sometimes
There were a few of us
Underage and drinking beers
You know what I’m talking about
Just boys being boys
And about nine beers deep we started getting bored
There was this gopher hole
And boys being boys we started a fire
in the hole
Next we threw in firecrackers
I’m not sure what we expected
I guess we were just hoping to flush the rodent out
This stupid pastime continued
Until my uncle
Drunk as shit stumbled over with the water hose
He pushed the hose into the hole and turned on the water
It all happened so fast
The critter came dashing out
And in that instance my uncle
Armed with a baseball bat
Beat the gopher to death
He threw down the bat and walked away
We were confused
I felt dirty
How did pointless fun
Easily turn into a murder of sorts
We buried the gopher
And never talked about it again
Until Trump decided to run for president
One of the boys that were there called me
I told him I wasn’t much into politics
“Remember the gopher?”
June 20, 2016
editors note: Commentary heard on your local news channel never! – mh clay
A State of Serenity by Bhupender Bhardwaj
As if in a dream the vast landscape
Of inexplicable splendours opened up
Before the eyes.
The scene was that of natural
Ornamentation: a rivulet making
Its way through the unknown ravine,
The green hill opposite prostrate
In a gesture of humility, free eagles
Gliding over their airy domains—
Knowledgeable of the ways of the wind.
The mist played its game of mystery
Across the face of the valley
Making moderate the vision
As wine does the senses.
Moreover, the sight was quite
Inspirational being a pearl ring
From a long-ago friend found after
Ages in the heap of useless things.
Paradises unknown shall always
Appear ordinary to those who
Witness this spectacle revealing the
Union of man and nature every moment.
June 19, 2016
editors note: Best absorbed in situ. – mh clay
••• Short Stories •••
Happy Need-a-Read Day! This week we got two-fer ya!
The first short story is titled with “Poem” in it. But when it fell inadvertently into Short Story Editor Tyler Malone’s hands, he couldn’t resist snatching this one and putting it in our short story library. Here’s what he had to say about it…
“I promise, time is alive but it won’t die. The moon will, though. It will keep reflecting, but the source will be extinguished: what we thrive upon, what watches over our love.”
And here’s a bit of “Love That Moon: A Poem in Three Parts” by Contributing Writer and Poet Ruth Deming:
(photo “Three Heads of Sunset” – above – by Tyler Malone aka The Second Shooter)
We sat on the front porch, the whole
lot of us, the Washington family, knowing
that yes our folk of all different hues of
brown, were born of the first father of our
country, our country too.
Granny, born of a young slave girl, had
nearly died today, fell down once again,
not good for much, she was one-hundred-something
but who was counting? “Take me Lord” she would
pray with her toothless mouth that still
loved to sing “Let My People Go” and to
sip homemade hooch.
We done a right good load of hay baling, said
brother Jim, pointing toward yonder fields.
Oughta fetch a pretty penny and we can buy
our ladies some right pretty material for dresses
and bonnets and what not. Easter Sunday’s
on its way, praise the Lord.
Long as you gots enough wood to repair these
rickety steps that leads up to the cabin, says I.
Oh, don’t you worry, Little Miss, we’ve got
plenty of smackers including those wrinkled up bills we save
for when’s we need em.
Plus, says I, my boy Jefferson is going away to
college some day. We all watched Jefferson as
he played with his little plastic trucks in the dirt
zoom zoom – as he crashed them together
We laughed as one, a church-like chorus where
our own Pap was preacher, he done left us long
Jefferson looked our way and smiled that big ole
Mississippi smile of his. He pointed over the
newly greening fields and stood up.
“Mama,” he cried. “There’s my crescent moon.”
My crescent moon, he shouted over and over,
jumping up and down and raising the dust.
“You are right, boy!” I said, coming off the porch
and swooping him up in a hug. “That moon
sure do love you, boy, and so do I!”
Get the rest of your read on right here!
The second featured short, “The Train to Discomfort” comes to us from longtime Contributing Writer Jenean McBrearty. Here’s what Short Story Editor Tyler Malone has to say about this historical fictional tale:
Joy isn’t the last emotion, it’s the first smiling step to many more, all as the cyclical human cycle carried by pumping blood only begins. First a smile, then a toothless whimper.
Here’s a whimper to get’cha goin’:
(photo “Car Commerce” – above – by Tyler Malone aka The Second Shooter)
David McConnell didn’t realize how tense he’d been until the train left German soil and entered Austria. In a few hours he’d be in Vienna and he and Julia would shop for a cleric.
He let out a sigh and looked up from his week-old edition of the London Times. Sitting across from him was a large man with a thick white mustache and a probing stare. “Would you like to see yesterday’s news?” he said. He offered the folded paper to his fellow traveler. “The political cartoons are well drawn.”
“And, no doubt full of inflammatory commentary from your Mr. Churchill.” But he accepted the paper, and David felt a second wave of relief; he didn’t like being studied. This fellow looked like a professional observer. A psychiatrist, perhaps. All the arrogance of a military officer and the accusatory eye of a clergyman. He turned his attention to the passing countryside.
“What do you think of Herr Hitler?” The man asked.
The question intruded on David’s prurient thoughts of Julia. “I haven’t given him much thought at all. As long as I don’t have to go to war, I don’t care what Europe does. I’m getting married when I get to Vienna.”
“Committing to life-long war, then.”
“I prefer to think I’m marrying an ally not an enemy.”
All aboard, this story train is leavin’ the station! Click here for more of this mad ride!
••• Open Mic •••
This month we will be featuring Dallas Poet & Artist & all around mad man, Ta2! Wanna know more about Ta2? Here’s a bit about this mad man:
After surviving an auto accident from a drunk driver which crippled his career as a freshly published and degreed architect, Sean Gregory, who is better known in the poetry community simply as Ta2, was forced to make a change at the Why in the road. This brought him to the world of heavy metal music where he remained as a professional touring vocalist until 2004.
During that time, Ta2 immersed himself in poetry where he founded in 2005 The Dead Beat Poet Society. He focused on live spoken word shows and poetry slams. He is currently surviving as a starving artist by creating hyper-realism commissioned work, Henna art, and tattooing.
Ta2’s poetry styles vary like his topics which range from simple haiku to free-verse, and topics such as raw sex to coping with ADHD and Anxiety Disorder. This 1st Wednesday Ta2 will take you on a journey of sight & sound and LSD Memories. So, close your eyes and open your mind to the world of the absurd; the world according to Ta2.
How’s that for a write-up? Got your interest piqued? Good! So come on out, one & all. Get a brainful of Ta2, groove to some 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!
For mo info, visit our Open Mic 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…
Short Story Editor