The Best of Mad Swirl : 07.02.16

by July 2, 2016 0 comments

“Meaning and reality were not hidden somewhere behind things, they were in them, in all of them.” ~ Hermann Hesse

••• The Mad Gallery •••

“To the Queen” (above) by featured artist Fabrice Poussin.

To see more of Fabrice’s mad snaps, as well as our other featured artists, visit our mad Gallery at!

••• The Poetry Forum •••

This last week in Mad Swirl’s Poetry Forumwe stressed the structures of singular styles; we got bad blood from a bad brick pile; we drained love’s breath where not was death; we lost love’s gain, drew pleasure from pain; we willed to touch on water (too little), not sun (too much); we heard static as we tried to stop a suicide; we rested our heads in matchbox beds; we doubled our doubts trying to figure things out. Connected or dis-, to each our own bliss; we writes’em like we sees’em! ~ MH Clay

Finally talking to a guru in India by Timothy Pilgrim

In the beginning, phone-tree,
long branch, press one for savior.

Time on hold to ponder,
do we cease to exist or exist

to cease. Me, out of it, off
a bit, high on tea, so much so

need to call for help, not visit
the spiritualist, where folks queue,

air kiss, woo-woo session
with lost wives, lovers, of whom

I have not any left. Guru hisses,
low-pitched, complete the reversal,

fetch redemption, undo each wrong.
Be less bad than old me, better

than the new. Silence does not mean
no answer. He hangs up on me too.

July 2, 2016

editors note: I’d put god on speed-dial if I knew his number. – mh clay

Thimble by D.A. Moulton

We are becoming smaller again.
The soul of a mouse,
hiding inside the walls of this house.
Time doesn’t matter
and time isn’t waiting.
Time simply turns to water.
It’s wasting us down
dripping carving watering
waiting in a basement.
And so the wasting begins.
All around us thin and waning,
shouldering cobwebs shuddering.
Shrinking, scratching for crumbs
or a thimble of water.
Hiding from the light stretching
behind the walls of this house.
Squeezing into a hole smaller.
Inventing tiny dreams
that could fit into a matchbox bed.

July 1, 2016

editors note: Enough to make a quiet mouse want to roar. – mh clay

STATIC by Clyde Kessler

A friend called long distance stoned in Maynooth.
Said she was rooked. Said the air felt hacked from a wall.
An owl, if it was an owl, was shrieking like a tomcat.
She said something flew across gravestones, married
to her eyes. I heard but more imagined her words. Compared
the dark horizon to her raincoat, the distance to a short circuit
in her voice. There was silence, no voiceovers. A car door
wedged itself into radio waves. I imagined her lips moving,
her words inside the filaments of street lamps. College kids
slipped by. One of them propped a wallet on a gravestone.
She said a taxi drove by. She said it was turning around.
She said she could jump into the street and listen for brakes.
She asked if I could hear the brakes. I said I heard static.

June 30, 2016

editors note: What gives in the white noise. – mh clay

Satellites by Stephen Page

The tree frogs called the rain last night,
but the rain did not answer.
The intermittent croaking, about
every hour or so, was followed by
a gust of wind and the scent
of water, but no sprinkle, no pour.

The new gaucho, an angelic Moral
who rides our horse to sores,
has dried the soy beans not yet
planted. He horns the sun and peels
paint from his home.

Twenty millimeters of rain is not
forty nine, even with the north
wind. Two plastic gauges announce
the Tattler’s arrival in the park.

The newer gaucho, taller, broader
shouldered than the Angel
shunned away, suffers the sun
of unshaded twenty-one with
a smile and shovel-blistered hands
(but later became the Excuse Maker).

Just one day of the computer-
promised rain should soften the earth
and shoot the canal
full of internet cable, that is,
if the flexible orange pipe is found
on time.

With each truck that passes lot
three, earth crumbles and narrows
the road. We hope that the Three
barricade that which blackened
and thinned the cows.

I will the odometer to quit
increasing exponentially, and the bushes
Teresa planted not to yellow near
our home.

June 29, 2016

editors note: Atmospheric conditions unaffected angelically. (Congrats to Stephen on the imminent release of his new book, “A Ranch Bordering the Salty River.” Learn more about it and reserve your order here.) – mh clay

Death of a Lonesome Cowboy by Stephen Jarrell Williams

Come hurt me
With your stinging rope of an attitude

Stripping me down
Watching your turquoise tattoo dance

In front of a curtainless window to the world
Your sexy smile and sharp teeth white as lightning

You’re a one-night woman
Unbroken by no one

As I die in all my tomorrows branded by you…

June 28, 2016

editors note: Ride the bronco, bitter to be bucked; unrequited cowboy. – mh clay


We must learn something from the trees. ~ Kasem Trebeshina

Death was not in Paris, my darling,
It had never walked
In Luxemburg’s Garden either.

Every Autumn leaf
Was less than loneliness,
And the naked tree was quite unlike
The hesitating sounds of your guitar.

(Abandoned from whispers, it threw oblivion away –
Faint waltz chords
Filling the air of eternity.)

My sadness looked like the light at the verge of dusk:
That tree should have at least taught you
Why death was nowhere to be found in Paris.

You should have learned all only from the trees…

June 28, 2016

editors note: An aboreal adage, amorously applied. – mh clay

House of muck and straw and cast brick by Dave Kavanagh

It was not a dream
though memory says it was.
That house of straw and muck
and cast brick.

Asbestos sheeting cold as ice in winter
and oven hot in summer.
Amplifying the cries of pain.
Rain and wind rattling the eaves.

Fingers of cold weaving
in under corrugations.
Chilling spines of exposed bone
prone bodies shivering on wooden floors

Freezing words unspoken
cold lips, the kiss goodnight. A betrayal
on a soft child cheek.
Too weak to fight that house
Of straw and muck and cast brick.

Of voices raised in pain and rain
flooding in under a green door.
Floors awash with leaves and snapped twigs
lies and broken promises. Deals reneged upon
contracts voided between a demon and a thief.

Bailing fast to stop us sinking.
Thinking it was just the water
pulling us down to drown
in the mire of hate and disappointment
when all along it was us, bad blood
caused the flood.

A deluge of despair in a lair
of broken lives.
A house of straw and muck
and cast brick.

June 27, 2016

editors note: A story of destruction in a house of bad construction. – mh clay

Architecture by David Subacchi

A door or window opening
If rounded not straight
Is called Italianate.

A sharp, pointed line
Is English Gothic
To be specific.

A dome or upturned
Glass of wine
May be Byzantine.

Pillars and columns
An ornate border
The Classical order.

Concrete, steel
Any brutal structure
Modern architecture.

June 26, 2016

editors note: When Modern becomes ancient, will it no longer brutal be? – mh clay

••• Short Stories •••

Happy Need-a-Read Day! If you’ve been jonesin’ for that special read to feed your feeler’s need, don’t fret, “Emergency” by Clive Aaron Gill is sure to please.

Here’s what short story editor Tyler Malone has to say about “Emergency”:

“Motherhood, a timeless, worldwide anxiety. Some of us won’t have to deal with it, though, but isn’t that the worse curse?”

And here’s a snippet to get your feelers feelin’:

photo (above) by Tyler Malone aka The Second Shooter

“Nine, one, one. What is your emergency?” asked the Dispatcher at 6:03 in the evening in the County San Diego Operation Center.

“My daughter is being abused by her father,” yelled a woman.

“What’s your name?”

“Susan Johnson.”

“Are you a witness to the incident?”

“No. A neighbor heard my daughter’s screams and called me.”

“Is this the first time for this alleged type of incident?”

“My daughter, Jennifer, hasn’t told me of another.”

“What’s the father’s name and address?”

“Mike Johnson. Sixty-seven-ninety-nine Grace Glen Court, Clairmont.”

“Stay on the line.”

The Dispatcher communicated with Police Headquarters.

Within ten minutes two police officers arrived at the reported location in two black patrol cars with flashing red and blue lights. A holstered gun rested on each officer’s hip.

An officer rang the front door bell causing a dog inside the house to bark. A man in his forties opened the door, holding his Rottweiler by the collar. The mingling aromas of fried potatoes, onions and garlic followed him.

“Good evening. Mr. Johnson?” asked Officer Bretzing. The Officer’s thick, black hair, frosted with gray, lay over a plump face that held deep-set eyes and a button nose.


Mike Johnson rubbed his raised eyebrow. A narrow, black mustache grew under his wide, flat nose. His gray eyes looked from his high cheek-boned-face and a vertical line creased his forehead. A full reddish beard covered his chin.

“I’m Officer Bretzing. My partner is Officer Pope.”

Mike saw a short, round man with curly, brown hair and piercing coal-black eyes. His arched nose, shaped like a beak, rested on a thin face.

Officer Bretzing said, “We’re responding to a report of a disturbance at this location.”…

Did that get your feelers goin’? Good, ‘cos this teaser scene is about as much of this tale that we can reveal. Get the rest of your read on here!

••• Open Mic •••

Join Mad Swirl & Swirve this 1st Wednesday of July (aka 07.06.16) at 8:00 SHARP as we continue to swirl up our mic madness at our mad mic-ness home, Dallas’ badass The Underpass Bar!

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!

P.S. To get on the preRSVP list, visit our FB event page.

P.P.S. If you can’t make it to Mad Swirl Open Mic this 1st Wednesday but wanna catch the mad action from the comforts of wherever it is you like to watch madness ensue, Mad Swirl is gonna try on this whole “Live Feed” thingie that FB is doin’ these days. Tune in to our Mad Swirl FB home at 8:00-ish (CST) and see if we can get this whole technology thing figured out!


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…

Hidin’ (not),

Johnny O
Chief Editor

MH Clay
Poetry Editor

Tyler Malone
Short Story Editor

Madelyn Olson
Visual Editor

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